Game Analogy

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Written by kvidian.affairs@gmail.com

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Introduction

Life is a game, and a series of games. Each thing a person wishes to do in life involves an objective, goal, or outcome, with challenges that stand in the way of that goal, and options to face those challenges which usually involve strategy, skill, and roles that person must fill. While comparing life situations to games is nothing new, this analogy will be expanded and reworked here into an entire life system that you can use on a daily basis in all personal interactions, business, personal, or otherwise.

This philosophy is called "Game Analogy".

The name is similar to Plato's "Cave Analogy", where physical and spiritual reality are visualized with an analogy of men sitting in a cave. These men see shadows projected on a wall in front of them as objects pass by a light from outside the cave. A man sees a shadow of a chair, and thinks "that's a chair". If at some point, he manages to escape the cave, he'll see what an actual chair looks like, and this basically blows his mind. Similarly, Plato claims all the objects we see here in the world are but mere "projections" of a perfect, spiritual reality that exists outside of our ability to perceive it. Plato's Cave Analogy offers us a different way of thinking about reality and spirituality that can be quite useful. In that same way, Game Analogy offers a way of thinking about life, so the decisions we make are clearer and better articulated in relation to society and the world as a whole.

Being ethical, developing righteousness, and aligning your life with higher, eternal principles, is a worthwhile endeavor, but on its own, will not win you the game of life. At best, it can only facilitate the character needed to win.

There are several ways you can play the game of life, and they will lead you in different directions. The word "winning", as is intended here, involves accomplishing goals that you have set within certain parameters, and enjoying the rewards of those goals, with the intention that everyone will benefit across time, and across possibilities. If your aims in life are different than this, or you sincerely believe that the purpose of life calls you to focus on things other than winning - as it's defined here - then Game Analogy might not be for you. This is important to understand from the outset; Game Analogy is one of many philosophies you could take as you navigate life. It is not for everyone.

The parameters mentioned above include 5 elements that will be discussed in detail later.  To be a proper Game Analogist and to set acceptable goals, you must:

1) Align with seven virtues
2) Use a five dimensional map
3) Aim for the best possible outcome
4) Understand what game is being played, and
5) Know what skills you bring to the game.

If you fail to stay within these parameters, Game Analogy will not work as intended.  Game Analogy is meant to help you navigate life in a way that is fulfilling and enjoyable, and make things better along the way.  It is not intended for evil purposes.

One way to play the game of life is to stop playing altogether, believing "the only winning move is to not play". The Buddhists follow this path, and their method is meant to develop inner peace despite the external world, and to let go of attachments. Another play style is to make living with grace your goal, believing "we are called to suffer". The Christians and other monotheists follow this path, and their method is to press against the external world and all its adversities, and develop internal character as a result. Yet another path is to examine things by facts, evidence, and reason, and let the dispassionate hand of science light the way. Rationalists and humanists champion this path, and their method is to study the physical world and make decisions that are advised by what the data says.

There are of course multiple other religions and philosophies, but most of them are built upon one of those foundational philosophies: cultivation of inner peace despite the world (Eastern), or the development of character by struggling against sins and flaws found in the world (Western), with the practice of empirical investigation of the natural world pervading through both. However, none of these paths are sufficient for winning the game as it was described earlier. You never see pure Christ-like followers of God as the CEO of major companies, or as the leaders of nations (unless you count the places like the Vatican), and in the few instances where you do see this, it's often because the person is only presenting such an image to the public, and not because they're genuinely following a righteous path. You rarely see genuine scientists and PhD holders in positions of power either. In fact, many respected scientists have to take up side jobs just to keep their bills paid. When you do see a politician who is a scientist, or who follows a religious path, they did not become a successful politician by following those paths. They did so by following elements that make up Game Analogy.

If you want to gain status, power, and wealth, you must learn to play the game with other players in such a way that you advance yourself towards "winning the game" without any perceived detriment to other players. This is very notably different from the play styles described earlier. The focus is not on the problem of suffering (eastern philosophy), or good versus evil (western philosophy), or having sufficient empirical data (science), but instead seeing life as a game, and focusing on the skilled interactions with other players, with the goal being self advancement that in turn benefits everyone.

In principle, there's little difference between saving a princess from a castle in a video game and getting a promotion at work. Both are games, both involve challenges, and skills that are developed across time to overcome those challenges and reach the goal. Let's call the latter game "job". In this game, I'll be the employee, you can be the employer, and as long as both of us are getting what we want from this interaction, we are both likely to keep playing. If you turn out to be a bad player, I won't want to play with you and I'll quit. Vice versa, if I'm not a good player, you'll want to play with someone else, and I'll get fired. Another game is called "relationship". Here, the goals are experiential and emotional, but can still be understood as a game. Relationships have objectives (even if it's simply to maintain the relationship and continue experiencing the emotions and identity that comes with being in a relationship), challenges that stand in the way of this, and skills needed to overcome those challenges. In these examples, as with all games, there are rules. At work, you have to show up at a certain time, and complete a set of tasks. In relationships (if it's monogamous), you can't be intimate with someone else while you play the game with your partner. You also can't develop an emotional bond with someone else that's similar to the bond you have with your partner.

Speaking of which, if you're curious about why men retreat into video games, one primary reason is because video games have clearly defined rules and guaranteed rewards, which happen far quicker than in real life. At your job, if you work as hard as possible and even put in overtime, you could still get fired if the company has to downsize. In relationships, if you sacrifice everything for the sake of my partner, they might still leave you for someone else. In a video game, if you kill a monster, you will always get gold coins. If I gain a certain amount of experience, I will always gain a level. Imagine playing an extremely popular game like Final Fantasy where you could, at any moment, have your character reduced back 10 levels because of market fluctuations, layoffs, or any number of other economic factors that you cannot see, predict, or control. People would immediately hate the game and stop playing, and complain at length on every online review and forum they could find. They'd make videos about how much the game sucks, and why it sucks. And there are, in fact, many such forums, review boards, and videos that talk at length about how much the games of life suck for the same exact reasons.

Video games and life itself are both games. But one is reliable with clear parameters, and the other isn't. Video games also provide the feelings of gain and acquisition far more frequently. To get promoted at work, I may have to be there for a decade or more. To get promoted in The Sims, I just increase my characters skill levels over the course of several minutes, then show up to work a few times. Within half an hour, I get a promotion. Women can also get sucked into gaming, but because women are simply different from men (which we'll cover in detail later), they are more likely to find other ways to cope with the lack of societal trust and life uncertainty.

Examples of Games

The term "game" is a recognized concept in the field of psychology. Dr Eric Berne, founder Transactional Analysis, defines it as such:

"A game is an ongoing series of complementary ulterior transactions progressing to a well-defined, predictable outcome. Descriptively, it is a recurring set of transactions... with a concealed motivation... or gimmick."

Game Analogy is focused on playing games that involve achieving your goals withing set parameters and enjoying the incentives, but there are also interpersonal games that basically lead nowhere, called "drama". Drama can be fun, harmless, or downright toxic. One example of a drama game described by Dr Berne is the "If It Weren't For You" game, or ITWFY. From his book on the subject, it goes like this:

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"Mrs. White complained that her husband severely restricted her social activities, so that she had never learned to dance. Due to changes in her attitude brought about psychiatric treatment, her husband became less sure of himself and more indulgent. Mrs. White was then free to enlarge the scope of her activities. She signed up for dancing classes, and then discovered to her despair that she had a morbid fear of dance floors and had to abandon this project.

This unfortunate adventure, along with similar ones, laid out some important aspects of her marriage. Out of her many suitors, she had picked a domineering man for a husband. She was then in a position to complain that she could do all sorts of things "if it weren't for you." Many of her woman friends had domineering husbands, and when they met for their morning coffee, they spent a good deal of time playing "If It Weren't For Him."

As it turned out, however, contrary to her complaints, her husband was performing a very real service for her by forbidding her to do something she was deeply afraid of, and by preventing her, in fact, from even becoming aware of her fears. This was one reason... [she] had chosen such a husband.

His prohibitions and her complaints frequently led to quarrels, so that their sex life was seriously impaired. She and her husband had little in common besides their household worries and the children, so that their quarrels stood out as important events."

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If you've ever wondered why women actively seek out and date terrible abusive men, this is one reason why. They're attracted to "drama", which is defined as a game that does not involve winning as described earlier. Mrs. White from above is playing a drama game. Being a victim of an abusive relationship provides a surprising number of payoffs. Being able to sneak around behind the abuser's back and gossip about how much you're being abused provides a sense of struggle and adventure. There's also the continual play with power dynamics, which at its root, is not dissimilar to what the BDSM community engages in. This may seem twisted, but human beings are, in fact, quite twisted. Successfully living in a world with creatures like this requires you to understand what games they're playing, so you can play your chosen game while being less encumbered, and win.

Now the typical young blue-haired feminist activist social-media user or tik-tok producer, at the time of this writing, is likely to read the above paragraph and absolutely recoil at that description, given that it does not include women who are in abusive relationships that they genuinely want to escape, but cannot, and are in fear for their lives on a daily basis, and should only have their cause championed and praised.

But this reaction is also a game.

Our online feminist activist now has a new thing they can shout and holler and shake their fist over, which allows them to reinforce their identity as social activists, and continue bonding with others of that ilk. Obviously, the above description was not intended to describe literally every woman and every relationship, nor demean or diminish those who are stuck in abusive relationships and genuinely want to leave, and the social justice / feminist types know this. Again, this reaction is just a game.

The game is called "I'm a good person". The goal is to prove to everyone that you're a good person. You do this by repeating a certain set of ideas and act like you're advocating for them, often on social media or where anyone can see you doing it, and showing as much disgust as possible for anyone who says anything in opposition. This activity has often been called "virtue signaling". You win by gaining the feelings and emotions of acceptance for being a good person, building valuable network connections, and rising through the ranks of organizations that are also playing the game. If winning as defined earlier is involved (you're doing all this on purpose to achieve a goal and, in the end, actually make things better for everyone), then this is not called "drama", but rather it's considered a serious game. Of course, you could also be a good person by studying medicine and becoming a doctor and providing care to the sick and injured, but that would require work. The desire to be a good person is in conflict with the requirement to do the work needed to be a good person, which involves the concept of "drives", and is something else we'll cover later on.

An intelligent and rational person may believe that objective or empirical truth is the proper way to navigate the world, and that it should also be the basis when interacting with other people. Atheists often make this claim when referring to religious people, like Christians. They say their goal is to approach Christians with facts and evidence, and it's the fault of Christians who simply will not accept such things. But this isn't how the world works, and the atheists are just as susceptible to buying into wrong information and playing games as are Christians, and are often guilty of the exact same irrational behavior that they denounce. When interacting with other people, it's important to understand that facts and evidence may sometimes be helpful, but most often they simply don't matter, and actually can do more harm than good. It's far more important to understand what kind of game the other person is playing, and navigate your way around that.

Think of it this way: if you called out Mrs. White from above on exactly what she was doing, would she say "oh yes, you're right, thanks for pointing that out", or would she get defensive, dig her heels in, and find more ways to justify the game she's playing? It's often the case that if you catch someone selling snake oil to a crowd, and you call the person out on their snake oil, the crowd is more likely to hate you for exposing the snake oil than to hate the person selling it to them. They're also likely to continue enjoying the snake oil after they've run you off.

Imagine if you showed up to a chess match with a pool stick, and asked to play. This wouldn't end very well for you, and the two people who were playing chess are most likely going to take their board elsewhere, and dread if they see you approaching them again later. You may argue that there's nothing objectively wrong with anything you did, and there's nothing objectively improper about your pool stick, but you've neglected to observe what game the other side was playing, and that's what caused their displeasure. People often want snake oil, even when they KNOW it's fake and does nothing, and you ruin the game by exposing it. This is why the path of the rational empiricist simply doesn't win you the game. There are very few people who are that in love with logical argumentation. The following examples will illustrate this further.

Helping the Poor

Mr. Logos applied for a position as a Housing Retention Specialist at a well established social service agency in Portland, Oregon. The role of this job was simple: to find people who were homeless, sign them up so they would be placed on a housing wait list, then help them through the process of getting off the streets and into housing. Mr. Logos was more than qualified, and had plenty of experience working at other facilities related to social services. Further, his interviewing skills are top notch. So he went in planning to impress the interviewer, answer all the questions confidently (and even slip in a source for his answers here and there), and get the job with little trouble. However, despite all this, Mr. Logos neglected to observe what game was actually being played.

The interview started with the typical opening question. "What do you know about our company?" In 2 minutes, Mr. Logos gave a concise history of the company, complete with the organization's budget for the current year, number of employees, and number of clients currently being served. The interviewer was visibly impressed.

A few questions later, the interviewer asked a loaded question. He wanted to know if the applicant was there to play his game. And what game was he playing? Good question - ask yourself that as we see what happened next, and consider if the applicant brought a pool stick to a chess game.

The interviewer's question was: "Do you believe housing is a right?"

This question is political, and it's oriented with far-left social justice politics. Like most things from that spectrum, the question is born from a pre-established belief system. But Mr Logos politely and professionally gave this answer:

"You see, housing cannot be considered a 'right', because someone has to build the house, and you do not have rights to another person's labor. That person has to be paid for the work that went into building the house, not to mention the cost of all the raw materials that had to come from somewhere. You may argue that the government could step in and pay the builder so the tenant gets his house for free, but that's still not the definition of a 'right' because it only shifts who's paying; instead of the tenant paying, everyone else not involved in this transaction is now forced to pay by way of taxation. Now we could say once you've paid for the house, whether buying or renting, then you definitely have a right to the thing you paid for, but that's not the same thing as housing itself being a right."

Pretty good answer, wouldn't you say? Even if you don't agree, or have your own response which is different, the answer given above is definitely well reasoned and easy to understand. Nothing in that answer conflicts with the overall description of the position that was being applied for. It's also worth pointing out that the question was "is housing a right", and not "should everyone be housed", as the latter is a question of logistics, the former is a question of rights.

The interview ended. The applicant didn't get the job. What happened?

The interviewer was playing a game. In his mind, everyone deserves their own house, because "no one deserves to be homeless", and ergo, housing becomes a right. It doesn't matter how impractical this idea is, or how much friction implementing such an idea would have with actual reality. He wants to play the game of "job" with someone who's going to play his particular version of the game, so he can have fun together with that other person, and they can both "fight systemic injustice". It's no different than how "should every illegal immigrant be deported" ignores logistics and necessary due process, and a person asking this question is less interested in reality and more interested in a game. In both cases, the player gains quite a bit of satisfaction and personal identity from their game, but we'll cover that later. Facts and evidence simply don't matter. Well reasoned, rational arguments don't matter. Reality itself doesn't matter. If the applicant wants the job, they need to play the game right.

If Mr. Logos had knowledge of Game Analogy going into this interview, what should they have said when asked "is housing a right"?

They should have said "Yes, it is", and left it at that. No long explanations, nothing complex; just simple and unthinking agreement. They would have gotten the job. Now one might argue that he would have to "keep playing along with it the whole time he works there", but this ignores a few things.

First, you're going to be playing a game no matter where you go or what you do, and as long as you realize that it's a game, you can find fun ways to enjoy it. If you go to another company, you're still playing a game. Everywhere you go, and everything you do, there is usually a game being played. "Life is a game, and a series of games" -- don't avoid them, just find one you can enjoy. Second, it assumes that you'll remain in that position you applied for, always having to play the same game you played when you went in. Play the game well enough, for long enough, and people might invite you to play bigger and better games. This means you get a promotion and invitation to play a new game, and after a while, if you play the new game properly, you'll keep getting promoted, and eventually find yourself in a position where you can't so quickly be fired. In fact, you may find yourself in a position where you can start enforcing the rule changes on everyone below you, and can turn the tables - now, it's everyone else who will now have to go along with your game, or find another job. After all, that's essentially what happened to make these companies what they are now. Social service agencies weren't always ruled by the social justice far-left narrative. Decades ago, the people who would later become "social justice warriors" played the game the right way and ended up in the positions of power they're in now. They then enforced their game throughout the ranks of the company. A conservative could do the same exact thing and begin undoing the game. Remember, arguing facts and evidence, or trying to reason with the other side, probably isn't going to work (unless that's the game the other side wants to play.) If you're at the bottom, you'll just be asked to leave (or fired) and won't get the job. If you're at the top, you have the power, and there's no need for reasoning.

The Wage Gap

In case you've been living in a rustic log cabin for the last several years without access to internet, TV, or radio: the wage gap is the idea that women are only paid 76 cents for every dollar a man makes for the same work. This is one of the most well researched economic phenomena of our age, and has been covered by over 50 independent peer reviewed studies. The Obama White House even assigned a special task force from the Consad group, an economic research firm, to discover why the wage gap exists.

Uniformly, and without exception, every single one of these studies reached the same exact conclusion - even studies from far left feminist agencies, like the Institute for Women's Policy Research. As it turns out, the wage gap is not linked to sexism or discrimination in any way. It's caused by the fact that women make different decisions than do men. For example, women are far more likely to call in sick, far more likely to work part time, far less likely to work overtime, and so on. This is because women generally tend to value different things than do men. Even when studying small businesses owned by men and women, there was still a wage gap. How is that possible? If you own a business, you do not have a payroll department paying your salary. Your income is determined by your customers and how you run your business. In this case, women will open their businesses later in the day and stay closed on weekends because they do not value competition and making every last dollar they can. They value time with friends, time with family, and self care. Men, on the other hand, value competition, money, status, and power. Hence why a million men, and a million women, observed over a year, will see 900 thousand men making certain choices, and 900 thousand women making other choices, with some expected overlap from the remaining 100 thousand.

Now keep this in mind because we're coming back to it in a minute. Consider the following two scenarios.

First, let's say you go to the doctor for a routine check up. After some tests, the doctor comes in with a somber look on his face, and tells you he has some bad news. You have stage 4 cancer. He's very sorry. You have 6 more weeks to live.

The next 24 hours for you are going to be existential, as you become imminently aware of your own morality, and start reassessing all the decisions you've made and missed opportunities you've had in life. Then, the next day, you get a phone call - it's the doctor! It so happens that the machine was set up incorrectly when they took the test, and once they fixed the error, they discovered you actually DON'T have cancer!! You're going to live!!!

You'd probably have the biggest sigh of relief in your life. You might even faint because of this news. You'd call up everyone and tell them you're going to be okay and celebrations would be had.

Second, let's say there's news of a hurricane coming directly towards the town where you live. It's a category 5 hurricane, with winds strong enough to blow your head clean off your shoulders. It's scheduled to hit within the next day or so, and there's no possible way to evacuate. Your house also doesn't have a basement and all the local shelters are full. So you batten down the hatches as best you can and get real religious, talking to God and trying to strike a deal.

Three hours later, the news reports that the hurricane has changed course. It's going to miss your town, and in fact, head right out into the ocean! The most you'll get are heavy rains. Here again, a huge sigh of relief! Your home, your business, and all your neighbors are going to be fine.

Now imagine the doctor comes to you and says you don't have cancer, and instead of being relieved, you're OFFENDED! You can't believe the doctor would actually tell you that you DON'T have cancer. Can't he see how sick you are? Can't he show some sympathy??? You might think this doesn't make any sense. Why on earth would a person be upset that there's not a horrible problem that's threatening their lives? It's the same with the hurricane example. Imagine someone terribly upset that you suggested their entire neighborhood is not going to be wiped out. Either the person is an evil son of a gun that was looking forward to dying amidst untold destruction... or... a game is being played. Because that's exactly what happens when you try to explain to a feminist that the wage gap isn't caused by sexism or discrimination.

Never once has there been a feminist that became washed over with relief and gratitude that there is not, in fact, a nation-wide "patriarchy" filled with systemic hatred that is specifically targeting her only for her gender. Also, the only way this patriarchy can express its hatred is by somehow commanding the payroll departments of every single company all across the country to go through their payroll spreadsheets and deliberately re-adjust the payment of all female employees. The reality is that this is not happening, and look - here's volumes of peer reviewed evidence showing you that such an outlandish and ridiculous notion isn't actually real. Yet, the feminist gets offended. "How dare you say this horrible thing isn't happening?" You can even provide an entire screen full of links if this discussion is happening online. Imagine giving someone

But the feminist won't click them. Her next reply to your post is only filled with name-calling, followed by blocking you. It's like a doctor holding up the results of the cancer test, and the feminist looks in the other direction, and calls him a patriarchal MRA troll who hates women. Or someone who points to the TV where the meteorologist is using computer generated graphics to explain the changed trajectory of the hurricane, and the feminist turns her head, refuses to look at the screen, and instead screams something about "THIS IS WHY I NEED FEMINISM".

See, the feminist is playing a game. In this game, she's the target of a large, faceless, shadowy conspiracy, called "patriarchy". This makes her important. Fighting against the injustices of this patriarchy gives her life meaning. It gives her a topic that she can connect with other women over. They can share personal stories of how their lives have been so affected by this non-existent thing. Any man they don't like is clearly patriarchal and any man they do like is "checking his privilege" -- thus it also provides explanatory power of good and evil in the world. The game provides her life with all this and much more. So why on earth would she be relieved when you show her evidence that disproves the foundational beliefs that keep the whole thing going?

Once again, facts, evidence, and well reasoned arguments are not going to work. Your aim should be to somehow navigate around such people by learning the game they're playing, and play it with them. "Beating them at their own game" is one option, and requires learning what their game is, and what the rules are. Alternatively there's the old adage "the only winning move is to not play". You could choose to simply turn around and walk away and not engage, though this might not always be possible.

Lets say your supervisor at work is a feminist. Nightmare scenario, right? But hang on, let's play her game and see where it takes us. Remember the reason why she's playing this game. She wants to feel important, she wants to use it to connect with others, and it gives her life a purpose that she can meaningfully work towards. Objectively, none of the things she believes are true, but that doesn't matter, so put that thought aside. Instead, you might check Buzzfeed or Vox for stories on how "men can check their privilege", then come up with such a story to share with her. Look for opportunities to act in a way that validates the game she's playing. Bring up something like "objectification" (which also isn't a real thing in the way feminists use the term, but again that doesn't matter), and say "I never objectify anyone", then let her teach you and change your mind (women in particular absolutely love when they can "change" a man - which is part of another game.) Once you've demonstrated you're willing to play by changing your mind, and that you're also a good player, you can eventually suggest that you could play the game even better if you had a raise or a promotion (you'll have to play for a good long while before you bring this up, so be patient.) She'll introduce you to the right people. Then figure out the game these new people are playing, and repeat. You'll eventually be in a position where you no longer need to play any of these games, as you'll be high enough up the ladder that you can start changing the rules and bringing in a new game entirely. But at no point should you rely on facts, evidence, statistics, or data, unless it validates the game and serves to advance you. This is only one example of a game you could play. We'll cover different games and strategies later.

Male feminist routinely employ most of what is described here, even if they're not conscious of doing it. They want to be accepted by women, they'll meekly bring up an opinion and apologize immediately once they're corrected, and they'll play the game hoping that it one day gets them some special attention or advancement. The important thing to note is that they aren't necessarily aware that they're playing a game. Mrs. White from above may know she's playing a game after it's pointed out to her, but isn't consciously planning on playing one.

Trump's Campaign

Scott Adams has rightly pointed out a few things about president Trump's campaign. He got plenty of flack from the media, because of course the media is also playing a game. His point was that Trump is one of the most persuasive presidents we've ever had, and this is simply a fact. Trump knows how to play the game like a pro.

Adam's talked on the Joe Rogan podcast about a question meant to trap Trump early in the 2016 debates. Megan Kelly began asking a question:

"You've called women you don't like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals" - a "gotcha" question that would have ended the career of any other politician. Yet Trump knew exactly what game this was, and had already considered that just such a question would be used as a weapon against him. So rather than apologize, or explain himself, or refute that he ever said that - because none of that would have worked - he said "Only Rosie O'Donnell". This move put him back in control, and turned the question into a joke, which dis-empowered the accusation against him. He then went on to cultivate a kind of "rivalry" between himself and Megan Kelly, so that this rivalry became the focus, and further dis-empowered those accusations.

Trump also knew earlier in his campaign that his opening statements where he said "When Mexico sends their people, they're not sending their best" would result in a blast of free press coverage and media attention that none of the other candidates would receive. That's why he did it. It was a calculated move.

Rightist went online and engaged in countless arguments, pointing out the hypocrisy that Trump could insult Jeb Bush, he could insult Rick Perry, he could insult Marko Rubio, and call them all sorts of names, and yet, somehow, that was totally accepted; but he insults Rosie O'Donnell once, and that makes him misogynist. If you honestly believe women are equal to men, then wouldn't this treatment be equality? Women are equal to men, but continually need special treatment? The rightists did not understand that there's a game being played here, and the game is not "lets see who can make the most well-reasoned fact-based argument". The game is "I'm team blue, you're team red, and I can scream louder". Trump knew this. He didn't bring a pool stick to a chess match. He didn't bother with logical, fact-based, well-reasoned arguments. If he had done that, he would have lost. He brought a pool stick to a pool table, and won.

Reasons for Games

Frederick Nietzsche pointed out that humans have a "will to power", which is more than a "will to live". A cat will lazily sit around all day, every day, so long as it has food, water, shelter, and the occasional scratch under the chin or behind the ears. Cat's mostly just have a will to live, and as long as their basic needs are satisfied, they're happy. A human can't do this. If you give a human food, water, shelter, and the occasional scratch under the chin, the human will think you're weird, and also won't be satisfied. That's because the human needs to see their environment being affected by the presence of their being. Humans need goals, and they need to see themselves moving towards those goals.

In 1979, Ellen Langer performed an experiment in an old folks home. She had one group of seniors given tasks to care for themselves and several jobs they needed to keep up with across the day, such as watering plants. Another group of seniors was given a wait staff, which did everything for them. Disturbingly, after just 3 weeks, the self-sufficiency group had improved health by nearly every measure, while the cared-for group saw their health rapidly decline. By the end of the experiment, some of the cared-for group had actually died. This is similar to the complaint set against young men who spend all day playing video games. The tasks and accomplishments in the game may simulate the Will to Power, but they're only a cheap substitute. It's like taking pills to get rid of hunger instead of actually eating food. You can do it for a while, but eventually, you need the food.

How does this relate to games?

Imagine a millennial, laying on their couch in their well-furnished apartment that their parents' trust fund is paying for. They have cold air in the summer and hot air in the winter. They have a fridge full of food, a microwave that cooks it for them in minutes, and a button they can press on their phone to order a pizza if they can't be bothered to get up and go to the microwave. They have hot and cold running water anytime they want it, a machine that washes and dries their clothes for them, and a service that comes to pick up their trash for them. This sounds almost like The Jetsons. The only way this could be more luxurious is if robotic arms came out of the walls and wiped the crumbs off your chin.

This young millennial has absolutely no worries, no stress or pressure, and nothing to struggle with. However, the Will to Power means this young person desperately needs something to worry about, some kind of stress and pressure, and something to struggle with. Humans need meaningful goals, and meaningful work that progresses them towards those goals. They can't live as cats, being well fed and happy. If the millennial doesn't get this, he'll waste away, just like the seniors did in Ellen's experiment.

There's a few ways this millennial could fix the problem. They could go out to the local homeless shelter and volunteer. They could study medicine and care for the sick. They could join the army and contribute to the deterrence of war and maintenance of peace. But there's another side to human nature which acts contrary to the Will to Power, and that's laziness. A lack of discipline and lack of other positive character traits facilitate the sort of laziness that will have the millennial laying on the couch for the rest of today, this week, and this month. Yet the Will to Power remains. People often have drives that are conflicted with one another. Is there an easier way to satisfy the Will to Power, without having to get up and actually work at it?

Yes!

Surrounded by luxuries on every side, the millennial lifts up his phone, goes on Facebook, and decides to talk about HOW OPPRESSED they are. "Yes, that's right, I am living under the boot of tyranny! Hold on, my pizza is here. No I'm not working today, I don't have a job, my parents pay for everything lol. Anyway I'm oppressed!" The millennial then goes on Netflix, watches a movie, then comes back to see if their post got any likes. No likes means they're extra-oppressed. But then lots of likes only confirm their belief and they're definitely oppressed.

The game being played here should be visible by now. By dreaming up all sorts of invisible enemies, and being the target of a vast shadowy conspiracy of patriarchal capitalist white privileged something something, a millennial goes from being a useless sack of potatoes laying on the couch with no friends, no goals, and no direction, to suddenly having a fully fleshed out identity where everyone's either an "ally" or an "oppressor", and the goal is to fight against their imagined oppression. This is the greatest goal of all because it never ends. You can't get rid of something that simply isn't there, but you can always imagine yourself winning battles against it, and getting a dopamine rush every time. You cannot reason with such people. Facts and evidence will only destroy this path they've found that brings so much meaning into their lives.

Now we talked a bit about opposing drives, and how a person creates a belief to satisfy opposing drives. There is a much more in-depth and sophisticated way of understanding this, so let's explore that now.

Belief Systems, and How They're Built

Understanding belief systems is a crucial part of Game Analogy. First, there's personality. This is formed in early childhood and usually does not change, or if it does, it does so very slowly across time. Personality in modern psychology is understood through the Five Factor Model:

  • Openness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extroversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism

Details won't be covered here, as there's plenty of information about the 5 Factor Model online. But briefly, openness means you can be open to new ideas or experiences, or closed to such things and want to stick with what you know. You can be conscientious, which means honor-bound and very hard working, or low conscientiousness, which means you're more prone to laziness, but could also mean flexible and spontaneous. Again, online search can reveal a great deal more information on the 5 Factor Model if you're interested.

Next, there's value structures. Your personality helps decide your values!

If you inherently value freedom over security, then you're going to want less government and fewer regulations. If you inherently value sacrifice over ambition, then you're always going to give to others rather than take what you deserve. The first of these is a question of neuroticism (how worried you are about the possibility of danger in your environment), and the second of these is a question of agreeableness (how likely are you to go along to get along, as opposed to speaking up when you see a problem.)

Then there's Ideals. We'll come back to this element specifically towards the end, in a section called "The Three Axes of Reality", but for now, your ideals can be considered part of your values. Ideals are the ideas of things you find admirable and want in your life, or things you think should exist in the world. A person buys a gym membership, and then doesn't go. That's because they like the idea of getting in shape, but the reality involves a lot of discomfort that they don't want to engage with. A man who sees a beautiful woman day after day but doesn't talk to her begins creating an ideal of her in his mind, which then falls apart when he talks to her and finds that her life choices and lifestyle are not at all to his liking. An emotionally intelligent person will understand that they don't necessarily want all their fantasies to happen in real life, and that it's okay for fantasy to remain a fantasy. Ideals and reality can often clash, and this is another source of game-making. Mrs White's ideal was to learn to dance, then get on the dance floor. The reality is that she was terrified of doing so. This clash contributes to the formation of her game.

Life experience and cultural lens also play a role in determining your values. If you had a traumatic childhood, you're going to view potential relationships with strangers differently than if you had a loving and supportive childhood. It's extremely important to note that neither of these viewpoints are inherently right or wrong. Strangers can absolutely be dangerous, or they can be potential friends. The impact of a cultural lens becomes immediately clear when considering how someone who grew up in Japan views the world, as compared to someone who grew up in America. In Japan, conformity is highly valued. In America, it's individualism.

Perception is another factor worth mentioning, but like ideals, we can put this under other factors, like personality and values. Perception is not just how you see things, but also what you choose to look for. Three people may walk into a classroom, and one notices the proportion of white to black people in attendance, the other notices the style and model of the projectors, screens, and computers, and another notices the subject being taught. They can all three see the same exact classroom, but their perceptions are filtering out most of the experience and honing in on just a handful of things they find valuable.

Another example of how one thing can be perceived differently by two individuals, and result in two different realities, can be demonstrated by the following exchange.

Rightist: The poor and impoverished need to get jobs.

Leftist: You rightists hate poor people, and don't care about their suffering! Not everyone can get jobs!

Rightist: Okay, let's say we give poor people a stipend instead. Each month, we give them money to spend on their basic needs.

Leftist: That sounds more reasonable.

Rightist: And let's say we encourage these people to get involved with their communities, and do things their neighbors find productive and valuable.

Leftist: That sounds even more reasonable. I'm glad we're on the same page!

Rightist: And with the poor doing productive work, and getting paid for it, would it be wrong if we called this... getting a job?

Leftist: WHY DO YOU HATE POOR PEOPLE??!

^ Your opponent is likely to agree with you, if you just present your position in a way that appeals to their perceptions and narratives. Say what you need to say, do what you need to do -- the goal is not to be right, the goal is to win (reach your goals while making everyone better off.)

One more note on perception before we move on. Again, perception is not just how you see things, but also what things you happen to look for in a given situation. The famous "invisible gorilla" experiment was carried out by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, and discussed in their 2010 book by the same name. In this experiment, viewers are sat in front of a screen where they are told to watch players in white shirts pass a ball back and forth, and told to count the number of passes made. While focusing intently on the number of passes, and making sure to count them accurately, a gorilla comes on screen, stands in the very center of the players, beats his chest, then walks off the screen. Almost no one who takes this test for the first time ever sees the gorilla. Why? Because you only see what you look for in life.

Here's another example:

A picture of ordinary people outside on a normal day, and each person is being assigned a nefarious intention according to the feminist narrative

If you've ever encountered someone who tells you that everything is racist, or everything is sexist, that's because they have a value structure that aims their view in that direction, so that's simply what they see. You also have a value structure that is causing you to look at things a certain way. Yours may not be as extreme as the above example, but don't think you are in any way perfectly rational and see only objective reality.

Next, there's drives. A drive is a set of needs or desires that arise without any precipitating cognitive process. Put simply, if you sit where you are long enough, you'll eventually get hungry. This isn't because you simply miss food, and remember fond memories of what it was like to eat. You get hungry because of biological reasons that have nothing to do with thinking and awareness. It's the same with sleep, and the same with boredom. So taking these three together, you could consider that you have a hunger-drive, a sleep-drive, and a boredom-drive. These are "basic drives". Don't eat, get hungry. Don't sleep, get sleepy.

Next, there are "complex drives", and this is another key concept in Game Analogy. This is separated from basic drives because they involve complex concepts that involve things like identity, society, relationships, and the world at large. One example is a "justice-drive". When you see a defenseless woman getting attacked by a vicious man, you naturally want to intervene (or you at least want something done.) This "want for something to be done", or similar sort of reaction you might have, doesn't appear to be taught, and is not culturally conditioned. We see this in all peoples across all cultures and all history. Every civilization has a collective sense of justice that arises from each individual. We also have a "repentance drive" -- a need to see the wrong within ourselves, and to set things right. There also seems to be a need to connect with something greater than ourselves, or a "meta-drive". Atheists also have this, but the thing they hold to be greater than themselves is usually sets of concepts, like compassion, community, and empathy, and so on. At the time of this writing, there does not appear to be a list of all complex drives listed anywhere online. As Game Analogy is picked up and used by more people, a collective effort can happen to explore what all human drives there are.

We also see complex drives in animals, or at least behaviors that strongly indicate the existence of these drives. In 2003, Frans de Waal, a primatologist and professor of primate behavior at Emory University in Atlanta Georgia, conducted his famous experiment with Capuchin monkeys. He had two monkeys in separate cages, set side by side. The monkeys handed a pebble to a researcher, and in return, were each "paid" a slice of cucumber. Both monkeys are happy with their pay -- until a few pebbles later, when one monkey is paid with a grape, instead of a cucumber. When the other monkey sees this, he throws the cucumber, screeches, and rattles the cage. This strongly indicates a sense of "fairness" in animals, that could easily be the foundations for a more complex understanding of justice, and then later, perhaps a justice-drive.

Another drive is the need for forgiveness. Because ancient humans existed in tribes, and because everyone in the tribe will eventually mess up or make a mistake at some point, and also each person needs the protection and acceptance from the tribe, asking forgiveness became a drive. For centuries this drive was satisfied by religion. The Catholics literally created a box for you to sit in and confess your sins, because it satisfied the drive connected to forgiveness and acceptance. As technology continues to advance, and modern infrastructure continues to expand, the culture of religion has fallen away, but the forgiveness-drive, like all other drives, didn't disappear. Like many drives associated with religion, it simply found an alternative way to be expressed. Or perhaps it doesn't get expressed at all, and causes severe anxiety and panic disorder.

The drive to fit in, to be part of a group, and conform to expectations, is extremely powerful, and can be seen on full display in the world of fake martial arts. Search on youtube for a video called "No Touch Vs MMA master" posted by Kifesh Bradda, or a video called "World's Funniest Fake No Touch Martial Arts Kiai Master vs MMA fighter" by Robert Chaen, and straight from the description of the latter, you'll see "Master Ryuken Yanagi getting beat up by BJJ practitioner and MMA fighter Tsuyoshi Iwakura. They fought on Nov. 26, 2006 at the Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center in Sapporo." In the first part of this video, Master Ryuken is waving and wiggling his hands in the air, using "magic" (or "chi" or "ki" or whatever ancient esoteric Asian word you'd like to use instead of magic) to make his students flip and flop all over the place. Ryuken eventually became so convinced of his own nonsense, that he put up a 5,000 dollar reward for anyone who could defeat him and his martial arts magic. Tsuyoshi Iwakura soon responded, and won himself some easy money. It's noteworthy how Ryuken reacts after getting hit, touching his face and looking at his hand several times, almost as if he were in complete disbelief. In another video, titled "George Dillman Called Out in Public By Reporter | Fake Martial Arts Masters DESTROYED", posted by youtube channel TotallyPointlessTV, master George Dillman displays the same "no-touch knock-out" type of magic. However, when he's challenged by a journalist, he wasn't able to make it happen. Dillman himself wouldn't even try it, and had one of his students, because some part of him suspected the journalist wouldn't play along. And sure enough, the journalist didn't jump back and fall down like he was supposed to when Dillman's student tried using his magic. After this happened, Dillman is seen in the video coming up with excuses right on the spot for why it didn't work, claiming that it failed -- get this -- because the journalist had his tongue in the wrong place in his mouth. Feeling that wasn't enough of an explanation, Dillman then says if one of his toes was pointed up, and the other toe was pointed down, the technique wouldn't work. It seems only Dillman is unaware of how bizarre this sounds.

You might wonder how grown men could actually believe in such nonsense, and even act it all out on camera. But if you understand that this is all built from the human drives to fit in, be accepted, and conform to the group, then it makes a lot more sense. The teacher wants to be respected and looked up to by his students, so he gradually brings mysticism into his teachings bit by bit. The students want their teacher to succeed, and also want to be a part of a class that has a fantastic teacher, because that would make the students even more prestigious (imagine graduating from a class taught by a full blown wizard), so they nod along and accept it. The teacher gets more mystical, and the students enable more mysticism, until finally you're at the point Ryuken and George found themselves.

The most important takeaway here is that these people aren't stupid, dumb, or ignorant -- the behavior and belief in fake martial arts was created by the very same drives and emotional needs that you, dear reader, also have within you. Your susceptibility in becoming a part of such a thing is NOT based on your intelligence, but based on how well your drives and emotional needs are currently being satisfied. An extremely unintelligent person who is loved by their family, accepted by their church, and who has many friends and a fulfilling job, is likely to roll their eyes at fake martial arts. A very intelligent and educated person who lives alone, has no family and almost no friends, and is unemployed or works a job that feels pointless, is much more likely to not only believe, but become an advocate for something like fake martial arts.

One more key drive that plays a particularly big role as the world becomes more complex is a "simplicity-drive". People love it when things can be boiled down to one catch phrase, or one cause.

In 2004, Morgan Spurlock made his film "Supersize Me", which led viewers to believe that McDonalds was somehow responsible for the obesity epidemic. People are overweight for a wide range of reasons.

First, Ancel Keys published his "Seven Countries Study" in 1958, which simply reached the wrong conclusion: that the fat content in your food was causing health problems. This isn't true, and the study was flawed, but it led to the idea that we should remove fat from food, hence why everything in the 80s and 90s was marketed as being "Fat Free!" The fat, which was not actually making you fat, was then replaced with copious amounts of sugar, which impacts blood insulin levels and disrupts your normal metabolism. Next, our lifestyles have changed. The continuing development of technology and infrastructure meant more people sitting in front of glowing screens for longer periods of time, and going home to live alone in their homes or apartments. People are more likely to eat when they're lonely and depressed. Additionally, there's no real education on health and nutrition in school. You're not taught how to quickly determine what foods have what nutrients or how those nutrients will impact you. Now we could keep going with all the different causes that facilitated the development of the obesity problem, but we don't have to, because we already have an answer.

It's McDonald's. Clearly. They asked if you wanted to be supersized, and according to the film, that's why you're obese. Morgan Spurlock will even prove it by -- get this -- eating nothing but McDonalds food for 30 days, which is what the film centered around. How wrong this is should be blindingly obvious to any normal, functioning adult. Yet the desire for a simple explanation to a complex problem was just too great, and people bought into it. Nutritionists in 2005 would bang their heads on the wall trying to get people to understand that they aren't obese simply because McDonalds exists, and this was an uphill battle, because in reality, you're selling complicated facts and evidence to someone who's already bought simplicity. And simplicity wins.

Consider that human behavior itself is already tremendously complex, and entire fields like psychology, neurology, and economics have spent nearly a century trying to pin down some form of predictive model of behavior for even a single person, with little success. Now consider how much more complex a topic like crime and poverty would be, and how an entire volume of scientific work would only provide a loose approximation of causes. Yet there are millions of people who know the exact cause of crime and poverty! It's "racism". That's it. That's all you have to know. Police shootings? Racism. Teen pregnancy? Racism. All of the world's top economists continue to fiercely debate over what causes unemployment and what should be done about it. But how could they have missed the answer? It's racism. Or maybe sexism. Or (insert word or catch phrase here.) A person cannot fix a broken light switch in their home, but will tell you how we could fix the entire power grid in the United States if we just switched to green energy. This same person struggles to raise their own child, but knows how to protect every child in America -- all you have to do is ban guns; a solution that becomes almost painful to listen to when "semi-automatic" guns are cited as being particularly dangerous. Of course on the other side, there's the idea that building a wall is all it takes to fix America's immigration problem, or that saying "God did it" is an acceptable answer to fill in every blank on a science test in school.

Each of the examples above has enough information to fill an entire personal library, and as our population increases, and as technology advances, the complexity only continues to grow, which makes the desire for simplicity all that much greater.

There are many other drives, and many other resulting games. The same drive can give rise to different games. For example, a woman who doesn't get married and never has children still has a drive to care for her young. To partly satisfy this drive, she might become a cat lady, or get dogs and talk to them as though they were actually her kids, which is something that's become quite common (there's even the term "fur babies".) However, she may also externalize this drive towards a social cause, and a white liberal woman in particular may begin viewing every black person through a maternal lens, seeing only their victimhood without any element of adult responsibility. She'll decry how most drug arrests are against blacks, but never once suggest that if you weren't selling drugs, you could never have been arrested in the first place. Even making this suggestion out loud to her will get you a stern look or jaw-dropped admonishment, as though you're honestly suggesting her 8 year old be judged on the level of an adult, because after all, you monster, they're just kids: which gets phrased as "You're being unbelievably racist right now." Unsatisfied drives can result in all sorts of behaviors, and more importantly, all sorts of games.

Drives also influence value structures. Imagine someone with a high sex drive. Guess what sorts of things this person will value? What would their ideal weekend look like? Compound this with culture -- how would an American kid process this concept as opposed to an Iranian kid? Now imagine someone with a low sex drive but is very sensitive to the suffering of others (perhaps a high level of neuroticism + high justice drive.) What kind of things will this person value? What kind of games would this person likely engage in?

To make things far more complicated, ask yourself: are there some things which should be valued more than others? People tend to gather into large groups, and across time, come to general agreements over which things should be valued, and which things should be avoided. And this isn't arbitrary; people tend to decide these things based on where they find themselves in the world and in history, and on what they need to collectively survive and thrive. That's generally what "culture" is, and from this originates your cultural lens.

Another factor that influences all of the above is a person's state of mind. If you are anxious, parts of your brain are activated that get you ready for "fight or flight", and override your prefrontal cortex, greatly impairing your ability to think clearly. Anxiety is essentially your brain's warning signal that "you could be hurt", or that something in your environment is currently dangerous and threatening. This causes you to shift your priorities. You may keep the same value structure and drives (though stay anxious long enough and these will also change), but your perception and priorities are shifted, and this can all change as soon as the person is no longer anxious. Similarly, depression, hunger, and being chronically sleep-deprived can all contribute to a person's state of mind.

Finally, your personality, life experiences, drives, cultural lens, state of mind, and values, all combine to lay the foundation for something Game Analogy calls your belief system. These factors all constantly influence one another and reshape each other, as seen above, but a belief system keeps things consistent across time. Are there other factors that build a person's belief system? Probably, but for our purposes here, this is all we need to understand the concept.

So as it turns out, Republicans are not simply using "facts" to argue and "destroy liberals". They're filtering out 99.999% of all facts and using only a select few, and it's their sets of values, personality, life experience, drives, and cultural lens that they're using to help pick which facts they use to build their case, and which facts they ignore. Or in other words, they're using a belief system! Democrats go on crusades to prove how virtuous they are, and how a man can become a woman simply by putting on a dress and saying he's a woman. Why? Same reason -- belief system!

Your belief system is satisfying all the complex drives -- the justice drive, the forgiveness drive, your fairness drive, all of them. It has explanatory power; it explains why good things happen to bad people, why there is evil in the world, and explains the reasons for each of your failures in life. It can justify every ounce of hurt you've ever felt. It tells you what should happen, what must happen, and what must be stopped.

Here's an example of a belief system.

You see, the world is built upon systemic oppression. People can be divided into identity groups based on race, gender, and sexual orientation, as well as other things like disability. The reason why evil happens in the world is that the people in power are afraid of losing that power, and will hurt others to maintain their power. To make matters worse, it's power they didn't earn; it's "privilege", which means it's an "unearned advantage granted by immutable characteristics". This privilege is given to people who are white, straight, and male. It's this privilege, and the systems of power it creates, that cause black people to be shot by the police and live in poverty. This is racial injustice, and it must be stopped. If you are a white male, you need to repent by "checking your privilege".

^ Look at all the complex drives this satisfies! It gives you a value structure, it provides a cultural lens, it gives you an identity, and it even gives you a way to instantly form relationships with others based entirely on their identity group, whether or not they agree with this belief system. There are no more strangers; there are allies and enemies. Everyone is relevant; they're either an oppressor or the oppressed.

Okay here's another.

The universe is 6,000 years old, and the world was created in 6 days, by a magical sky wizard, who created a dirt-man and a rib-woman, who then ate a magic apple because a talking snake told them to, which cursed them forever (sin), so a Jewish zombie who was his own father allowed himself to be killed to help remove the curse, but it can only really work if you telepathically communicate with him and tell him you believe all of this is true. All evil in the world is caused by sin, and every bad thing happened to you because of a man in a red jumpsuit holding a pitchfork, but you can fight for justice by spreading the word of this religion, and you can repent by going to a special building every Sunday and let someone talk at you for an hour or so.

^ This is a belief system. It satisfies numerous drives. It provides meaning, purpose, direction, identity, and fulfills the other amazing psychological needs and complex drives. Like last time, you now have insta-relationships; everyone is now either saved, or a sinner. It also allows you to feel super special, because the creator of the entire universe has a special relationship with you. You can also pray to him and ask that your favorite football team wins.

Here's yet another belief system.

The earth is a pure, bountiful, mother goddess, and man is a blight upon the world. Mankind cuts down rain forests and "destroys entire ecosystems", all for personal gain. They pollute rivers and dump tons of carbon into the atmosphere, which continues to poison the planet. This has to be stopped at all cost, because the future of our children, and our children's children are at stake. You can separate yourself from such evil things by demanding green energy, like solar and wind power, and help save the planet by protesting against any capitalist business that refuses to submit to our demands.

^ Imagine waking up every morning and saving the freaking world by holding signs and chanting slogans! The level of importance of your life has skyrocketed. This belief system rocks! You also have instant-relationships with every other environmentalist out there.

So what do you think would happen if you introduced facts and evidence to any of the followers of these belief systems? Let's say you tried very politely discussing economic statistics to the first group, and pointed out how young black men from Kenya earn 113% of the national average. Or how unmarried women without children on average earn 8% more than white men of the same age across multiple job sectors. How would that go? What would happen if you politely told the creationist that the universe is not, in fact, 6,000 years old, and then provided a link to volumes of information proving it? Or how about sharing documents with the environmentalists on just how wrong their projections have routinely been, how many of their claims are plain factually incorrect, or how they quite literally hold a 15 year old girl with no life experience as a champion for their cause while at the same time claiming we should listen to science?

You would be attacking the very thing that provides them with meaning, purpose, identity, and satisfies their drives. You are attacking the belief system! And it's difficult to express just how utterly catastrophic a threat this is. If your belief system falls apart, your world falls apart. This is worse than being surrounded by deadly animals. It's worse than losing your home to a fire. People will dedicate their entire lives to a belief system, and any facts, evidence, or logic that runs contrary to that system can be seen as a threat.  You might also consider why you have such a strong motivation to argue with such people.  Is it because your facts and evidence are so important?  Or are you motivated to do so by your own belief system?

In 2017, James Damore was employed by Google, where he attended a diversity program. One of the topics being discussed at this event was why Google had fewer female employees as compared to the number of male employees, and how they could correct this issue. At the end of the event, the organizers asked for feedback, so James wrote a painstakingly detailed memo, with dozens of citations and links backing each assertion, explaining why women weren't lining up to work at Google. The memo is available online to anyone who searches for it. It merely puts forward data, facts, and evidence, all available online but compiled into this one memo, and explains the causes behind the hiring discrepancy at Google. That's it.

James Damore was then fired. Why? The belief system held by the event organizers at Google is that we live in a patriarchy where women are oppressed and men are privileged, and the course of action that will bring meaning to our lives is "dismantling the patriarchy". This is the game that's being played. Mrs. White isn't going to like it when you call her out for merely being scared of dancing; she wants you to join her in the game of blaming her husband. The housing retention specialist doesn't want an explanation of what rights are, and how housing cannot be considered a right; he wants to pretend he's some sort of crusader on a campaign to champion the rights of the homeless, and he wants an employee who will play the role of sidekick. Google doesn't want a memo explaining the volumes of evidence exhaustively documenting all the biological and psychological differences between men and women that influence the choices they generally tend to make in a free and open society; they're playing a game, and they want their employees to play the same game.

We are living in a post-evidence age. Facts, evidence, and logic don't matter. Everyone is playing a game. You either learn to play, you find another game to play, you stop playing, or you lose.

A single person, if spoken to carefully and at length, might change their mind. Over time, they might even abandon their belief system, or at least parts of it. In their book "How To Have Impossible Conversations", authors James Lindsay and Peter Boghossian explain a step-by-step process by which you could potentially convince someone to abandon a belief system, or at least alter some aspects of how they act on it over time. Game Analogy recognizes this as a good potential game that you might choose to play. If you'd like to try their techniques with a person you care about, to alter how you interact with them, then by all means, give it a try. It's one of many games, and it's an option. However, games only work if both sides are willing to play. Boghossian himself was forced to resign his position as a professor at Portland State University, and he admits this could not have been prevented by using the techniques he explained in his book. Damore would not have fared any better.

In the famous Bill Nye - Ken Ham debate that took place in 2014, each person was asked on stage "what would change your mind". Bill Nye said "evidence". Ken Ham said "nothing". The debate continued anyway, as many people were watching and wanted to see it happen, but if you're trying to have an impossible conversation with someone, and you ask what would change their position, and their answer is "nothing", then you're having what is literally an impossible conversation. Is that a game you want to play?

In the early 2000s, Ray Comfort became known as "Banana Man" when he made a video that was posted on YouTube as part of his "Way of the Master" series. In this video, he holds a banana in his hand, calling it the "Atheist's Nightmare", then explains the feature of the banana, claiming it as absolute proof of "intelligent design" (which is the idea that everything on Earth as we see it now was created by God, and that evolution is a lie.) The very banana he was holding in his hand is the product of selective reproduction... or evolution. To be clear, the man was literally holding the product of evolution in his own hand, and using it as evidence that evolution was a lie. This led to an absolute storm of video responses from educators all over the world explaining as much. Did Ray change his mind? Well, yes... he immediately claimed that the whole thing was just a joke, but of course maintained his stance on creationism vs evolution -- that part is never going to change. Ray has a belief system (or more accurately, the belief system has him, but we'll cover what that means later), and the job of the belief system is not to deal with facts, or objective reality. The belief system provides all the functions we described earlier, and it does all it can to persist in spite of facts and objective reality.

It doesn't matter how right or wrong any of these belief systems are. Game Analogy is focused chiefly on winning the game, or achieving your goals within certain parameters, and enjoying the rewards and incentives, while aiming to make everyone else better off. Pick games you enjoy playing, that you could become good at, and that are winnable.

Also keep in mind the person reading this right now also has a belief system that is every bit as nonsensical as the ones explained above. Do you believe that small green rectangular pieces of paper have inherent value? Do you celebrate a holiday where you sing songs to a dead tree and eat candy out of socks because a fat man crawled down your chimney? "A man will fight very long, and very hard, for a bit of coloured ribbon" -- Napoleon Bonaparte.

When an atheist says he doesn't have any irrational beliefs, ask him if he believes in human rights. When he says yes, ask again if he believes in human rights. He'll say "yes, but it's not irrational". Next, ask him why so many people are afraid of the consequences of developing an A.I. system that becomes self-aware. The fear is that it will turn on humans and wipe us out, but why would it do that, if human rights are so rationally evident? The A.I. is a computer program that works only with objective reasoning, facts, logic, and evidence, yet it cannot reach the conclusion that humans have inalienable rights. Aren't they supposed to be "self-evident"? And the idea of Skynet and terminators wiping us out isn't just a common plot for movies, it's a legitimate topic of discussion in the field of A.I. research. It would seem that the idea of human rights is not so rational after all. That's because it doesn't come from a place of cold, calculating logic, it comes from a place of empathy and compassion, neither of which are evidence-based things. We simply don't want to see innocent people being caused to suffer, because we have a justice-drive, or a mercy-drive, and other complex drives that cause us to have belief systems which may or may not include rationality. So while having your own crazy belief system, are you sure you want to talk someone else out of theirs?

Ranking Belief Systems

Game Analogy doesn't grade belief systems based on which ones are more factually correct, nor does it place primary importance on which is more "true". That's not what belief systems are about, nor related to what they do. They satisfy drives, and they provide explanation, identity, orientation, and meaning, among many other extremely important things related to human psychology. It's simply not important if your belief system is factually correct or not. It matters if your belief system works.

If we remove mental health disorders and unusual external factors (like you happen to live in a war zone), lets ask the following:

Can you, for the most part, live your day-to-day life without too much friction? Can you generally set goals and achieve them? Do you get along well with others in most circumstances? Then you have a Functional Belief System. You're doing fine, and don't need to change anything.

Do you constantly have friction with the people around you? Is there always a problem somewhere, somehow, that sends your plans into disarray? Are you constantly having fights with others? Then you probably have a Maladaptive Belief System. It might help to reassess your view of things.

Are you just plain not able to handle adult life? Constantly in and out of jail? Unable to pay your bills? Non-stop arguments with everyone you encounter? We call this a Nonfunctional Belief System. Such a person could change, but it would take a lot.

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) protestor who is always shouting that white people need to stop existing, and that he's owed free money, is probably on the nonfunctional side of this spectrum. The environmentalist who genuinely wants a better world and is gainfully employed at a nuclear research facility is closer to the functional side. You could of course switch this around so it's the BLM protestor who's successfully navigating life's daily struggles and the environmentalist who has problems with everyone. There are plenty of young earth creationists who volunteer at their local homeless shelters and work hard to assist their communities. Then there are young earth creationists who will wave a bible in front of Walmart and scream that everyone (except them) is going to hell.

You are never dealing with a rational person. You are dealing with a person who is loaded with tons of crazy beliefs, but who hopefully shares some of your crazy beliefs, so that between you they don't seem so crazy, and these believes are functional enough to play a good game.

Let's look at a few examples of misaligned belief systems due to cultural shift.

The idea in the west that a college education is an integral part of higher learning, and earns you access to a better future, is a cultural hold-over from the 1960s and 70s, when that idea might have been valid. The older generations at the time of this writing may still believe in the value of a college education. However, the Higher Education Act of 1965, which was part of Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society" program, allowed for-profit colleges to receive Pell Grants and other federal student loans. This was done with only the best of intentions, and one can easily understand the arguments for making this happen. Why not allow grants and loans if a person wants to attend a for-profit college? However, like many top-down efforts to change or improve society, there were unforeseen and unintended consequences. Let's fast forward to the year 2000, and the World Wide Web is rapidly growing across the planet. It has become possible for colleges to offer education online.

Imagine for a moment that college A-ko requires that students read 5 books from cover to cover, master the contents therein, and write reports explaining what they learned over the course of a year. College B-ko decides they'll only require that students read 1 book, and promises less homework and less writing assignments to earn the same degree. Any potential college student can now access both of these colleges online, and get federal loans to attend either one, so which one will most students sign up to attend? In response to this, college C-ko goes on a massive advertising campaign explaining that students won't have to write any papers at all! One-on-one learning with professors and oral exams will earn you a degree, and classes can happen anywhere you have a laptop and internet connection. Now which college will students be clamoring to sign up for? College A-ko absolutely must lower their standards, or students will simply go to the easier colleges that offer them the same degree and more time to party. It's a lucrative business because all colleges can now accept federal loans, which cannot ever be forgiven, and stay on your record permanently. Further, the college in your local town now must compete with all other colleges that can be found online, so they cannot keep their standards up while relying on protection from geographical access. If you look for them, you can find colleges online that literally give you college credits for an entire semester just for signing in with your user-name and password, and almost nothing else. And these are, indeed, highly recognized and accredited universities that do this.

The results are what you'd imagine; college students that can barely read or write, but are willing to carry signs and protest over every social issue they can use to satisfy their drives and belief systems.

Now imagine you go to college, because the older generation has told you how important it is, and that you absolutely need to go if you ever want a good life. Your belief system is maladaptive. You try to make friends, you get in trouble for saying something offensive. You ask a woman out on a date, and she's part of the Me-Too movement. You pass or fail your classes based on whether you agree with certain political beliefs. You end up with student debt, and no company is interested in hiring you because it's obvious that your "education" is useless.

Now let's say you know all this before going in, and are using Game Analogy. You only validate and affirm the people around you, even the guy that identifies as an invisible pink unicorn. You navigate your way around the Me-Too traps. Instead of preparing yourself for academic rigor and focusing on studying, you network with people who have access to power, status, and resources. That's how you get a job coming out of college. Your belief system is now functional.

Note again that it's not important what beliefs here are morally "right" or "wrong". You aren't going to change any of the nonsense that's currently going on in universities, and speaking truth, challenging narratives, or standing your ground is only going to get you canceled and kicked out. Winning is what matters, so do what it takes to win. Only speak truth or stand your ground if you can win in doing so. You have to get yourself into a position where you can actually win before you start fighting, and that might mean for now, you'll have to go along with the nonsense being imposed upon you. If you simply can't bring yourself to do this, that's understandable: not everyone can. Find a game you enjoy playing, and where you can develop the skills to win. College might not be the game for you. But if you can go along with it, you may find yourself rising through the ranks, and you may find other people who think and feel the way you do, and at some point, you'll be too high up and too well known to simply get rid of, or canceled. At that point, you can change the game that's being played.

Here's another example.

Let's say you rate very, very high in trait conscientiousness, and low in extroversion. Let's say on top of this, your value structure and life experience brought you into fitness athletics at a very young age, and you stayed committed to fitness throughout your life. You very greatly enjoy hard work, and as a consequence of your lifestyle choices, you can do more physical work than most people. Added to this, you've been told most of your life that the number one thing employers look for in their employees is work ethic, and that hard work and responsibility are directly connected to success. Naturally, you apply for physical labor jobs, and when you finally get one, you're excited to show up and start doing the toughest work they have.

However, you happen to live in Mississippi, where the obesity rate is 39% as of this writing, and where the physical inactivity rate is over 30%, according to the CDC. This means the culture where you live does not value fitness or work ethic, despite what you've been told since childhood.

You show up and excitedly start carrying massive barrels and drums, moving concrete, and loading up trucks. You do more work in a few hours than your coworkers do in days, which isn't hard when the physical conditioning of the average person in your area is considerably low. Your belief system is maladaptive. Your coworkers are not going to like that the new guy can do things right on the first try, on account of his strength, when they've been working at the same place for 10 years. They certainly aren't going to congratulate you on your conscientiousness, despite how much some people are convinced that it's correlated with success. If you show up to work 10 minutes early, and everyone else shows up 5 minutes late, you don't get a trophy. You get hated and ignored. And don't think the manager isn't going to feel threatened by your performance either. His job might be on the line if you're doing too well. He might also be dragging a project out in order to fill time, and having someone get the job done sooner simply isn't in his best interest.

Now let's say you know all this before going in, and are using Game Analogy. You will know which of your coworkers have been there for 10 years, because they will constantly tell you. Repeatedly. Without being asked. Those are the ones you want to ask help from. It doesn't matter if you already know how to lift a box and put it on a truck. They want to feel important, so find a way to involve them, and ask them questions that allow them to "teach" you. Appreciate them for their help. Watch how hard and fast everyone else is working, and try to work at roughly the average speed of the team. If everyone is using hand-trucks to move even the smallest items, then a show of strength is probably not going to be admired. By going along with the group, you'll keep your job, and by not spending your energy on doing the greatest job possible, you can spend it on gaining access to power, status and resources. Your belief system is functional.

If any of that seemed less relatable, then simply replace "strength" with "intelligence", and "physical labor jobs" with any number of intellectually centered jobs, and all the same things apply.

The reason capitalism has failed in places like South America is in part because in order for it to work, the culture has to value things like merit, competition, and excellence. The culture also needs an acceptable handling of winners and losers, where the winners don't gloat over their victory, and the losers are encouraged to dust themselves off and try again. Mississippi and Louisiana both remain very poor states, with the former being the poorest state in the Union for decades, and part of this has to do with culture (obviously there are other reasons, but culture is definitely prime among them.) You aren't going to change this by taking a stand, speaking truth, or calling it out. Again, winning is what matters, not being right.

Now lets look at an example of how belief systems work together with culture and can lead to progress.

Lets say we all collectively share roughly the same belief system. That system is a belief in God, who sent his son to die for our sins. I say "roughly the same system" because there's wiggle room for Baptists, Adventists, Methodists, and so on, but it's still the same basic belief system. Again, the rightness or wrongness of this belief isn't important, it's how functional or nonfunctional it is. If people are good, responsible, law-abiding, and are willing to care for their neighbors, then the belief system is very functional! If we share a belief system that we're all Christian, and we're all Americans, and this belief system is robust enough to satisfy all our drives, need for identity, and other psychological needs, what you get is a society that can play the game called "let's be rational". None of us are rational, but that doesn't matter, we can still play the game! One thing that's off the table is discussing whether or not God exists, because that's the belief system that's satisfying all our needs, and we don't want that attacked with facts or evidence. But any other topic? By all means, let's be rational! And with this set up, the United States progressed further and faster than any other nation in the history of the world between the years of 1950 to 2000.

Let's Be Rational is a simple game. We identify a need or problem. We lay out the best arguments for how to solve the need or problem. We all openly discuss our thoughts and lay out the facts, and nobody acts offended. We can all agree or disagree without penalty, but at the end of the day, it's the facts and evidence at hand, and the desire to have a better future that work as our guide. Also, the person who ends up solving the problem gets rewarded, regardless of race, sex, or any other immutable factor -- or said another way, it's a merit based system. Playing this game, we went from propeller driven aircraft, to the moon landings, to the internet, in one single lifetime. The religious belief system was extremely useful, as it satisfied our psychological and spiritual needs, and allowed us to play the Let's Be Rational game on every other topic. One might point out that social change was definitely aided by social activist efforts, like those carried out by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, but the rest of the country changed their minds through lengthy discussions while these events were happening.

The atheist movement believed that if they attacked and removed the religious belief system, that all of us would become purely rational beings of science and progress. And they had their arguments. Plenty of people used religion as a justification to commit horrible crimes, and any attempt to play the game Let's Be Rational with religion nearly always resulted in an emotional response from a religious person. What if we got rid of religion? Wouldn't the person stop having such knee-jerk reactions when the topic comes up? Wouldn't people stop committing horrible crimes in the name of God? Not to mention how many people hypocritically go to church on Sunday, then go right back to their disgusting lifestyles on Monday. But what the atheists didn't realize was just how much the religious belief system was holding the country together. They also didn't realize that it's just not important if your belief system is right or wrong factually, because no belief system is. What's important is if it's functional, maladaptive, or non-functional.

The internet allowed the atheist arguments and critical thinking to spread in ways that were never possible before. Millions were free to begin questioning their beliefs as they sat behind a computer screen, and religious belief began to plummet. However, when you remove a belief system, all the needs that system was satisfying are still there. Identity, community, orientation in the world, a plan for the future, the drives, a value structure -- these don't go away. You just find other things to satisfy them.

Why didn't we have Black Lives Matter in the 1980s? Statistically speaking, there was more interpersonal violence in the 80s than in the 90s and 2000s. Was there not more racism? Did we not have police shootings and unemployment? The answer to this is that BLM comes from critical race theory, and critical race theory (CRT) is a belief system that wasn't picked up and made mainstream, because there was already another belief system in play -- that of patriotism and religion. When these were attacked, and started to fall away, CRT had fertile ground through which to spread, and the outgrowth of this belief system is BLM. Critical Gender Theory is another belief system that took root, and hence why the number of transgender individuals shot up 2,000% over the course of a few years, along with the Me-Too movement. We also saw the rise of bizarre belief systems, like flat-earth theory. If you're dealing with someone who has a functional belief system, there's no sense in challenging it. It will only get replaced by something else which may end up being far, far less functional, and potentially downright destructive. Remember this if you meet someone with a belief system that seems silly, but who's life is extremely well run.

And none of this is new. Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, science was making a great deal of progress in Europe, and many writers at the time noted how centuries of religious tradition were being abandoned in favor of this progress. It was thought that perhaps one day, science will explain everything, and could possibly reveal that a human being was a mere machine that could be explained all the way down to its atoms, removing the notion of soul, and certainly removing the notion of God. Hence why Nietzsche famously said "God is dead, and we have killed him". Changes were rapid, and the traditional belief systems were abandoned, so what were they replaced by? National socialism, and communism. The rise of Nazi ideology was partly the result of the replacement of former belief systems. The Nazis satisfy the explanation of evil by pinning it on this or that group, like the Jews. Their sense of justice comes from removing such groups. Their sense of belonging comes from joining rallies and shouting "seig heil". You are of the master race, so you are special, and we can create an entire narrative that helps make sense of the world. Communism did the exact same thing in Russia and China. Anything is justified when promoting communism is your path to salvation. When you understand that the rise of Antifa, BLM, and other militant groups are caused by the exact same process, you'll know why some find it so tremendously worrying. Said again: it has nothing to do with whether one belief system is right and the other is wrong, it has to do with whether the belief system is functional, and whether everyone is better off with it. American nationalism in the 1980s, with figures like Hulk Hogan being the photo cover for songs like "I am a Real American" wasn't harmful, and most people remember those times fondly. If your belief system is telling a group of people that the world would be better off if they didn't exist, whether that group is Jews, blacks, whites, or any other such group, your belief system is probably beyond non-functional, and should be considered a kind of mind-virus, or poison.

Funtional belief systems that are absolutely not true at all don't require complicated examples.  Think of the claim "porcupines shoot their quills".  This is entirely false.  Porcupines cannot do this.  However, if you teach this to small children (or even adults), they will be far more likely to exercise caution around porcupines, which could save them from a lot of unnecessary suffering.  Knowing this fact, and telling the myth to others anyway, means you are blatantly lying -- but it could still lead to them being better off (the belief is functional.)  Also consider the claim "there's no such thing as an unloaded gun".  Once again, it is purely factual that there are, indeed, unloaded guns.  But treating this belief like it was reality means you'll handle every single gun with care, which is definetly a good thing (the belief is functional.) 

How many other beliefs can you think of that are actually wrong, but are possibly better off left as they are, since they are functional?  How about the belief that every human life matters?  Or the belief that we're all, on some level, equally valuable?  One could easily argue that the nobel winning scientist who's working on a cure for cancer is definitely more valuable than the homeless drunk with a criminal record, and who knows, that might even be true (there's no way to scientifically measure the value of life.)  But the belief that everyone is equal seems to be functional, and if challenged or removed, will only be replaced by another belief that could be far less functional.

And as we've said, people do change their belief systems, but when they do, it's often very slow and in small steps. Getting a person to change what they believe is a game that you could play, if you so choose, but it's only one of many. Standing up for what is right is another game you might choose. Just be aware that if Gandhi, or Martin Luther King Jr, had tried to organize their peaceful protests in Nazi Germany, they simply would have been shot and never heard from again. Like it or not, you can't bring a pool stick to a chess match and expect it to work, even if you have the noblest of intentions. Peaceful protests only work if the other side is playing a game that allows that. It's the same with being rational or having impossible conversations.

Now that we've looked at belief systems, and considered whether they're functional, maladaptive, or nonfunctional, let's now ask another question.

When Beliefs Have You

Do you have belief systems, or do the belief systems have you? There are three points to consider that will answer this question.

1. How willing are you to change your mind on a given subject? If I believe in gravity, but you have some other explanation for why matter is attracted to matter, then I'll change my mind. I have the idea of gravity, the idea of gravity doesn't have me. Let's say I believe that social mobility in the United States has been crushed, so that the rich remain rich, and the poor remain poor. If you show me considerable evidence to the contrary -- like how statistically, most families lose their wealth within three generations, and how the average lifespan for a corporation is around 70 years before it goes out of business, then I'll change my mind. Again, I had the belief, the belief didn't have me. Now let's take feminism. You show me that the wage gap is not caused by sexism. If my response is immediate outrage, and I claim that you're hurting women by challenging this narrative, then it's likely that the belief has me.

2. How much of your life experience, or the world at large, operates according to your idea? After a severe weather event, a young earth creationist might say "the devil sent that tornado, and God stopped it." Because God and / or the devil are somehow involved in literally every single thing everywhere, and you can't just have a normal, non-Devil-sent tornado. Natural weather events are created by the devil and stopped by God. Meteorology is completely irrelevant. Or, alternatively, God tosses hurricanes at homos, because they make him angry. Hurricanes are an extremely well understood atmospheric phenomenon, and they're not caused by a magical sky wizard.

In 2022, the BBC posted an article on its website titled "Why Climate Change is Inherently Racist". Read that again. The climate itself has something against black people. Other related articles will tell you that black people cannot be racist, because racism requires "access to systemic power and privilege". So... the climate... is white? Because it couldn't be racist if it were black! Belief systems don't have to make sense, and that's okay; the problem is when they don't stay in their own zone, and instead go everywhere. You order a pizza and it's late? Racism! Your smart phone came unplugged and didn't charge overnight? Patriarchy!

3. How do you treat others who have different beliefs? Let's say a christian shows me a link that says "Jesus rose from the grave and here's proof". If I read it, and say "wow, you're right"! I'm then marked down as a very intelligent person and I'm seeking truth. However, if I'm not convinced, and even thank the Christian for showing me the article but then explain politely why I'm not convinced, I get marked down as clearly closed minded, not willing to listening, and they may feel motivated to keep trying to convince me, while getting louder and louder each time I'm not convinced. Their belief system has them, and it's using them to propagate itself. When it's unable to spread, it makes them try harder.

You can have a Muslim who listens to the atheists speak, then says he understands, but disagrees, and they part ways. The Muslim has a belief system. If instead he flies into an absolute rage and threatens to behead the atheist, then the belief system has him. If you then think of these belief systems as a kind of "spirit" that "takes possession" of an otherwise reasonable person, then the talk of being possessed by spirits in ancient writings makes a lot more sense.

Now combine these three, and you'll have the nasty rude thick-headed uncle who comes over for Thanksgiving dinner and wants to talk politics. And 1) he's absolutely unwilling to change his mind no matter what you say, 2) he works his politics into every conversation, and 3) he conflates "listening" with "agreeing". You're a good person, but only if you agree with his view. And you'll know what his view is because he'll tell you. Repeatedly. Even as you try to walk away. If you don't agree, he'll explain it again because clearly you just didn't get it the first time, no one would disagree if they really understood. If you disagree again, he'll get louder.

The uncle doesn't have ideas about politics. The ideas have him. He's a puppet for the belief system.

Perhaps I don't agree with Black Lives Matter. If your first response is "HOW COULD YOU BE SO RACIST", followed by a complete inability to hear any other perspective, the idea probably has you, especially if you're the one working it into every conversation. If I say "I don't agree" and your first response is "Why? Tell me what your perspective is, I'd like to know", followed by "Okay well I guess we just see it differently", then you have the ideas.

Think back to our earlier example of Mr Logos applying for a job as a housing specialist. Did the interviewer have beliefs? Or did the beliefs have him? He was able to hold a job and was picked by his company to do interviews, so perhaps his belief system was functional, but it can be functional while also having possession of him. Would it have worked to try changing his mind? Or would simply agreeing with the belief system have been the better move? Maybe a better question to ask is what game you're honestly interested in playing. Do you want to help people? You can find other ways of doing that. Are you just trying to make money? You could find other ways of doing that too. You get to choose what games you play, so find one you like.

We've talked a bit about games, and that being right or wrong isn't what's important; it's winning the matters. So let's take a closer look at winning.

Hierarchy of Winning

In any given game, you are trying to win.  Remember, that means achieving your goals in such a way that you and everyone else are better off.  There are 9 tiers of winning.

Tier 1 outcome: You win, and everyone else wins.

Tier 2 outcome: You win but no one else loses.

Tier 3 outcome: You don't lose and others win.

Tier 4 outcome: No one wins, but no one loses.

Tier 5 outcome: You win and someone else loses.

Tier 6 outcome: You lose and someone else wins.

Tier 7 outcome: You don't lose, but someone else loses

Tier 8 outcome: You lose but no one else loses.

Tier 9 outcome: Everyone loses.

^ This is an essential key part of Game Analogy. It is a primary part of the ethical calculus that will be routinely used in determining right from wrong, and will also prevent you from becoming an evil son of a gun bent on world domination. We've already had enough of those in our planet's history, and we don't need anymore.

Is it okay to lie? Yes! But only if the results in the highest tier win. Consider for a moment the problem of Elvis's Guitar. If you're familiar with the Ship of Theseus, it's a similar thought experiment. Let's imagine a group of Elvis enthusiasts, who are extremely passionate about their love of Elvis, are going on what they consider a pilgrimage to Graceland, the home of the King. They plan on seeing the guitar that Elvis used to learn how to play. To these people, with the belief system they have, this guitar is a sacred object. However, on the night before their arrival, one of the curators accidentally bumps the shelf it's sitting on, and it falls to the ground and breaks into pieces. His boss orders him to run down the street and purchase a similar looking cheap guitar from a nearby shop. They dust it off, polish it up, and put it on the shelf. The next day, our group of enthusiasts enter the room with the guitar, and have what can only be described as a religious experience. They stand in absolute awe. It's breathtaking. A tear rolls down an old woman's cheek. They take pictures. They leave and go back to their hotels, having seen a priceless piece of history. They now have a story they can share with all of their loved ones when they return home.

The question is, should you tell them the truth? What purpose does the truth have in this situation, except to hurt and destroy an otherwise amazing experience? What do you have to gain? If the answer is that you have nothing at all to gain, then telling the truth would result in a tier 7 outcome. Keeping your mouth shut results in a tier 3 outcome. The answer is clear; you don't tell them the truth. You let them go on with their lives, having all their psychological needs supplied by their functional belief systems. The point is not to be right or wrong, the point is to walk away with the highest win available.

Is it okay to cheat? Yes! But only if it results in the highest tier win. It's the same answer with all other questions. Life is complicated, and you will encounter situations that require you to be morally flexible. But flexible doesn't mean you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, and justify it later. It means thinking before you act, and accepting that sometimes, you will have to fight dirty, but it's okay if in the long run, you are still aiming for the highest tier outcome.

Maurizio Viroli, professor of government at the University of Texas, proposes the following thought experiment. Imagine you are trying to open a school in Italy, and to do this, you need to win a government contract. However, your competitor also wants the contract, and they have connections to the Mafia, which is not uncommon in Italy. If your competitor wins, everyone loses; the students will have a terrible school that will be unsafe. If you win, everyone else also wins; the students will have a good school and you'll also advance yourself as a result. In this situation, you cannot play a fair and honest game. You are going to have to resort to bending, or even breaking the rules, in order to win. What sets you apart from your competitor is that while you're breaking the rules, you aren't allowing this to turn you into a criminal who has no regard for rules. You keep yourself focused on the highest tier outcome.

If you've ever wondered why there's no such thing as an "honest politician", this is basically the reason why. Life is complicated and the world is cruel. To win the game, you'll need to accept things as they are, play accordingly, and be ready to get your hands dirty in the process.

It's been said "The problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat". This may be true in some sense. However, I'm a rat that lives in a big house and drives a nice car, while you're a rat working as a cashier for minimum wage. And that might be okay for you! Remember what we said at the very beginning; Game Analogy is not for everyone. If you genuinely believe that God has called you on your current path, or if you've decided to let go of attachment and spend more time in meditation and prayer, then it won't affect you in the least to be at your cashier job and follow a different path through life. Game Analogy is about winning, and to get the best possible wins, you may have to be morally flexible.

And if you find it difficult to lie, cheat, or steal, that's a good thing. It means you have a conscience, and having a conscience means not becoming the thing you hate. You must learn to lie, without becoming a liar; steal, without becoming a thief; cheat without becoming a cheater. Become what the situation requires, but don't become the worst of what you're doing.

On February 10th of 2007, Carlos Mancia was publicly accused of stealing jokes by Joe Rogan on stage at the Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard. Videos were posted online showing material from other standup comedians posted right next to Carlos doing a very similar, if not the exact same, set of jokes. Carlos obviously didn't begin his career by stealing jokes, and it's easy to consider how it might have turned out like this. Imagine for a moment that you're a popular comedian, and you're being asked to do shows all across the country. You have a tour coming up, and you need new material. However, try as you might, you simply can't come up with enough good material to put into an hour long show. You're up late one night channel surfing, and you come across another comedian from 20 years ago doing a bit on this or that subject. No one would notice if you "borrowed" this bit, and put it into your own show, right? If anyone does remember this joke being done by someone else, you could just innocently pass it off as coincidence. You borrow a few jokes from this comedian and stretch your segment into an hour. Problem solved. Now if you stopped there, and never did this again, you'd certainly have gotten away with it. And if you have a conscience, the feeling of guilt might bother you, but it will also prevent you from doing it again. It's even better if the guilt motivates you to look at your life, and figure out how you got yourself into a position where you were forced to cheat.

It's very tempting to "invite the spirit" of evil into your life this way. It made things so easy, you got away with it, what's it going to hurt if you do it again? Imagine how easy it'd be from here on out if you did this every time. You get to keep your status as a popular comedian, without putting the work into it. You invite the spirit in, and that's when you become a cheater. It's the same with lying, stealing, or any other terrible thing. You must accept that there are times when you must resort to doing these things, but you should never invite the spirit of these things to reside within you. In this way, you can extol the virtues of being honest, while acknowledging that a person cannot always be honest, and not be a hypocrite.

"Do, without becoming", and "become what the situation needs" are Taoist principles that Game Analogy builds from. Bruce Lee said that if you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup. It you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can flow, or it can crash. Like water, you must become what the situation needs. In war, become a soldier. At your job, become a worker. In school, become a student. However, in any of these places you may have to lie without becoming a liar, or cheat without becoming a cheater. You are what the situation calls for, winning the game and getting tier 1 outcomes where everyone is better off.

K'Vidism

Now a common question that comes up at this point is how do you know what counts as "better off" for everyone? How do you know what's best for everyone? Absolute knowledge is outside the grasp of humans, but we only need approximate knowledge, as many things about the human experience are intuitive. Lets go more into detail now. The following will explain the core tenets of a lifestyle and belief system that is called "K'vidism", pronounced Kay-vid-ism. This word is used to refer to the following collection of ideas and concepts. The origin of the word is not important.

People will often cite Matthew 7:1, "Judge not, lest ye be judged". However, Matthew 7:2 - 6 clarifies that this isn't telling you not to have any judgements about anyone or anything at all. It's telling you to judge things in the way that you would like to be judged, and also that you should hold off judging on a particular thing until you've mastered that thing. Let's say you post a job opening for a babysitter to watch your children while you're at work. Two people answer your ad. One is a 20 year old female who's going to college part time to become a grade school teacher, and has lots of babysitting experience with glowing references. The other is a 51 year old homeless drunk man with teeth missing who hasn't showered in a while. Now imagine someone asking "who are you to judge?" The answer is that you're a person with common sense, and you have children, and you definitely are in a position to judge. Of course we don't have to be this sophisticated with our example. Do you have a favorite food? You just made a judgment. Do you have a favorite TV show? Actor or actress? Music you listen to? You're judging some of these things to be better than other things, which is perfectly fine. There's nothing wrong with that. What we're meant to avoid is unfair judgements. In the previous example, if one applicant is white, and the other black, then we wouldn't consider this a fair judgment. Now to throw a wrench in this whole thing: if one applicant were female, and the other male, and there were no other differences, should that matter? It depends. Are men and women different? Or are we exactly the same in every way, biologically, psychologically, emotionally, and socially, with the only differences being nothing more than learned behavior? And this smoothly transitions us to the next point.

Is it better to be addicted to drugs and homeless under a bridge, or is it better to have a nice house, a good job, and be surrounded by people who respect and admire you? While it's true that the differences in which is better might be "socially constructed" to some extent, we don't need to split hairs, and we can agree that the second situation is better.

Now consider that you have a background in psychology and social work, and you approach the fellow who's under the bridge. You use language instrumentally, choosing all of your words carefully, watching the reaction of the homeless fellow to everything you say, and adjusting your next set of words accordingly. You may or may not believe the things you're saying, but it doesn't matter. After a while, you've convinced the fellow to change his behavior, and within a few weeks he's getting clean and sober, is applying for jobs, and living a more responsible life. Would anyone in their right mind accuse you of manipulating him? Probably not. However, let's say you did all the same things, used almost the exact same words, along with the same lack of belief in what you're telling him, and the result is that he hands you his last 20 dollars, which you walk away with. Now society would say you manipulated him for sure. Why? It's purely because society doesn't like the outcome. It has nothing to do with the activity itself, because the activity was the same, it just resulted in a different outcome. And in this example, most people can agree that society's judgment is perfectly reasonable.

Now let's consider a 40 year old man finds a 20 year old woman, and begins a sexual relationship with her. People will call him a "dirty old man", and accuse him of taking advantage of a poor innocent woman because he only wants one thing, and it's disgusting -- especially if the man is not particularly rich or successful. There's a popular meme showing that if 50 Shades of Gray took place in a trailer park, it'd be considered and episode of Criminal Minds. However, as soon as this man says "but we're in love, and I want to marry her!" Then everyone changes their tone immediately, and their relationship is sweet and romantic. Why? Once again, it's the outcome. These are often the same people who say no relationship should ever be shamed so long as it's consensual, meaning they're not only focused on the outcome, they're also very confused, since they were definitely shaming this arrangement when it was consensual, before love and marriage were mentioned.

The long and short of it is, society is not always right. And judging what "better off" means according to what society says might not be the best measure. Is there a better way?

Aligning Your Life with a Higher Power

If you're an atheist, and you've made it this far, don't close out just yet. Wait a few more minutes and you'll see where this is going.

God is another key essential part that is needed for Game Analogy to work. In Game Analogy and K'vidism, we can refer to "God" as "Meta", and use those words interchangeably. This ties into the outcome tiers we covered earlier. The "definition" of God, or Meta, and the logic used to conclude its existence, goes as follows:

1) Is suffering real?

-- It seems so. If a person says suffering isn't real, we either have a language problem, or the person is deliberately opaque. We can assume that it's definitely real.

2) Is the opposite real? (Joy and fulfillment)

-- Again this seems logically so.

3) Are there ways of acting, believing, and being, that increase suffering?

-- Definitely. If I act like a complete jerk to everyone I meet, I can increase suffering guaranteed.

4) Are there ways of acting, believing, and being, (codified as principles / teachings) that increase joy and fulfillment?

-- Once again, there does seem to be a set of principles which, if always followed, generally cause this to happen.

5) Can we describe or give names to these principles / teachings?

-- Wisdom, honor, forgiveness, faith, sacrifice, charity, diligence, tenacity... yes, we can give them names.

6) What is the total amalgamation of all these higher principles and teachings, put into one conceptual thing? That is to say: if we combined all the principles together, what would we call it?

-- The name for this, in at least some sense, would be "God". Or perhaps, "the nature of God".

It then logically follows that to become closer to the Meta, we should adhere as closely as possible to the principles that make up its nature.

Atheists tend to listen carefully to the first 5 steps and nod in agreement, but have a problem with the last one. They would rather not call the amalgamation of all highest principles as "God", and it's understandable why. The word "God" and religion itself has been used to justify some rather horrendous things. So if you don't want to call what we're describing here as God, then choose another name. You could use "Meta", but you could refer to it as "The Universe", or "The Great Spirit", or if you want to get flippant, call it Steve, Jones, or Roy. The words and symbols used are not as important as the basic concept itself, which is essential to Game Analogy. You cannot completely ignore what society says, since you have to repeatedly interact with society, and many tier 1 outcomes depend on having a good relationship with the people around you. However, society itself cannot be the only measure for what constitutes the ultimate idea of right and wrong. All of society could go down a very dark path, and there are numerous examples of entire countries doing this over the last few centuries. Following God (or Steve, Jones, or Roy), which is the highest possible combination of all conceivable good, is always in the same direction as a tier 1 outcome. Because we live in a completely screwed up world, and humans are a twisted species, it's not reasonable to win the game of life while also following a rigid and unbending moral code, where you never lie, cheat, or do anything "wrong". This is the reason Game Analogy says "don't worry about right and wrong, worry about winning." Because winning in the truest sense means following the highest good, along with enough moral flexibility, that everyone is better off -- if not right now, then definitely in the long run. It's acceptable to commit an act that would otherwise be called "sinful", so long as it's in the service of a tier 1 outcome. It is possible to serve God, even while standing at the gates of hell.

There's two additional concepts in this section which are both key and essential for making Game Analogy work.

The first is to return to Matthew 7, verse 3: do not criticize the spec in your brother's eye while you have a beam in your own eye.

Game Analogy is about understanding that life is not just a game, but a series of games, and that each person is playing their own game. It's also about playing the game of life in such a way that you take into account other people's bad strategies and decisions before making your own. To do this, you first have to straighten yourself out so you're no longer the one making bad choices, and will be capable of making good choices on behalf of others. What follows are key virtues that will help you more properly act in accordance with the Meta.

They are Foresightedness, Discipline, Discernment, Wisdom, Detachment, Humility, and Maturity.

Foresightedness

All other virtues could be hijacked and potentially be geared towards works of evil. Discipline can be used to create a very obedient soldier of hell, and discernment could be used to examine the best ways to backstab someone. For this reason, the highest virtue above all others must be the desire for the future to be genuinely better than the past or present. This means always wanting a tier 1 outcome for everyone, across time, and across all possibilities (called a "5 dimensional map", which we'll cover next.) This idea has many names. The religious will refer to it as having "the love of God". Another word, from the Greek, is "agape". However, in Game Analogy, we want to distance ourselves from the word "love" because in common language, this is often understood as a mere feeling which can be frivolous and is always changing, and also provide an alternative for the word "God" since some will prefer Steve, Jones, or Roy, and instead focus on commitment and awareness of bringing forth a better future. The word chosen for this is "foresightedness". Wanting everyone to have a better future, even if it requires immense effort, and genuinely believing that it will all pay off, is the highest virtue one can have.

Discipline

This is the second highest virtue. This is your ability to gain control over your mind, body, and spirit, and turn intentions into actions, despite any level of outside adversity or internal reluctance. Whether you intend to stop looking at social media and go to bed on time, or you intend to study for your next exam, or you intend to write a book on a new philosophy that will help people the world over see life as a game to be won, all these intentions turn into action by way of discipline. This also makes all other virtues happens. Without discipline, it will be difficult to make good use of discernment, wisdom, detachment, and the others.

Discernment

This is the third highest virtue. It's your ability to tell one thing apart from another; to determine what is changeable, what is unchangeable, what shouldn't be changed, what you can influence, what can influence you, and all the points in between. A strong understanding of boundaries and expectations also falls under discernment. When is it okay for someone to ask something of you? When should you say yes, and when should you say no? What is appropriate to ask for, and what is inappropriate to ask for? There is a time to speak, and a time to stay silent. There's a time to just go along with what everyone else is doing, and a time to take a stand and speak truth to power. A major problem the first world faces at this time is "toxic inclusiveness"; that is, everyone can be a part of everything all the time, no matter what. Everyone can identify as anything, and freedom should be unlimited. This just isn't true; remember what we said earlier about judgements and who you choose to watch your children. You judge certain things to be better than others, or at least more appropriate for a given time and place. That's more than just okay, it's an essential virtue when using Game Analogy.

Wisdom

This is the fourth highest virtue. Wisdom is the knowing of life that only living can bring. It's your ability to make highly skilled assumptions and use inductive reasoning based on life experience. You don't know, with absolute certainty, that the gold watches that shady character is selling in the back of an alley are stolen, but if you have any wisdom, you can assume they probably are. A child might assume they're real and not see anything suspicious. That's because children lack wisdom. You gain wisdom by always seeking out new situations you can navigate through, and new people you can interact with. Try new things, and learn new things. As time goes on, you start to learn the ways of the world. You can't do this if you only live in the same small town you were born in, and never leave. If life is lived properly, you will gradually trade your youth for wisdom, and the trade is well worth it. It is also what the old should share with the young, if there is a proper relationship between the two.

Humility

This is a natural extension of wisdom, but is important enough and different enough to be included as a separate virtue, and is the fifth highest virtue. "Wisest are they who know they know nothing." All knowledge outside of apriori or mathematics is assumed. There is a short story that encapsulates the importance of humility perfectly.

Once upon a time, there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years.

One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. "Such bad luck," they said sympathetically, "you must be so sad."

"We'll see," the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it two other wild horses.

"How wonderful," the neighbors exclaimed! "Not only did your horse return, but you received two more. What great fortune you have!"

"We'll see," answered the farmer.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. "Now your son cannot help you with your farming," they said. "What terrible luck you have!"</p>

"We'll see," replied the old farmer.

The following week, military officials came to the village to conscript young men into the army. Seeing that the son's leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. "Such great news. You must be so happy!"

The man smiled to himself and said once again.

"We'll see,"

^ Imagine applying this to any number of social activist movements. It's also why we frown upon vigilante justice. A criminal lives in the house down the road from you, and you're planning to carry out justice on your own? You don't know all the facts of the case. Planning to shut down traffic because a black man was shot? Again, you probably don't know exactly what happened, and if you've been listening to the media, then you definitely don't know what happened. This doesn't mean you should never take action, because everything you decide to do could carry with it the same questions. It means before you commit yourself to something that could have irreversible consequences, do not go in thinking you are absolutely right, or that everything will be okay because you're "on the right side of history" or "God is with you". Go in slowly, after careful deliberation, and having first straightened your own life out. Act on principle, and allow yourself to change course as needed. It is not a shameful thing to change directions when you have learned something new.

Detachment

This is the sixth highest virtue. It's much easier to approach challenges, and enjoy taking them on, when you can let go of the outcome. Learn to respond, rather than react. Be watchful, and do not let others control how you think and feel. Enjoy what you have while you have it, and when the time has come, let it go. Lao Tzu would have said that "it often takes more strength to let go than it does to hold on." Marcus Aurelius would have said "the more we value things outside of our control, the less control we have." And Seneca would have said "we suffer more in our imaginations than we do in reality."

Detachment can help make you immune to toxic relationships and narcissists. Abusers are able to abuse because they do things and say things that get you emotionally involved and committed. For example, your partner may blame you for something that happened to them. The act of being blamed makes you react with defensiveness. Your defensiveness is used to increase the blame. This creates more reaction, and the cycle repeats, until your partner is crying and you're apologizing. If instead, when partner blames you, calmly ask for clarification, then just sit in silence while your partner "explains" (though they're not really explaining anything, they're just trying to get an emotional reaction). Master your own emotions, be detached, and do not react. It takes a high level of discipline to do this. Respond by asking how your partner would like things to improve, and ask questions skillfully, as though you were waiting for a constructive answer. Your partner will continue pushing all your buttons and will say dozens of things designed to elicit an emotional reaction that they can take advantage of. But if you remain properly detached, you can simply watch the situation unfold and at any time, say "I'm sorry you feel that way" and let it go no further. Handle high stress situations with some level of detachment, and you'll be able to think your way through them with much greater clarity. A healthy understanding of boundaries, or discernment, will help tremendously.

Maturity

This is the last virtue, though it is better conceptualized as a result of personal and spiritual growth. This word is difficult to define, so a spectrum definition will be given using four categories, and a variety of examples.

Maturity can be understood as:

Alignment with Reality

-- Understanding that what's being perceived is never exactly the same as the perception.

Maturity: You understand that advertising, whether for a position at a company or something you intend to buy, won't be exactly as shown.

Immaturity: You approach things with a wide-eyed naivete, believing everything you see.

Maturity: You understand the "grass is always greener", and if you leave your current relationship / job, the next relationship / job will also have challenges.

Immaturity: You freely abandon what you have now, always chasing something that looks better.

Maturity: You don't create an idealized version of something in your head, then believe that version to be true, or have trouble accepting when the actual thing is different.

Immaturity: You see a beautiful man / woman and think s/he's absolutely perfect, then get bent out of shape the first time you have an argument over anything.

Emotional Intelligence

-- Understanding how your emotions work, knowing what effects them, and being able to manage them.

Maturity: You didn't get enough sleep last night so you feel irritable, but you completely understand why you feel that way, and you put on your best attitude when you're around others.

Immaturity: You're in a bad mood because ______ (whatever it may be), so you take it out on people around you. You freely and loudly express your bad mood when anything upsets you.

Maturity: Your partner upsets you because they want A when you want B, but you realize such conflict is very normal and decide to communicate and negotiate instead of getting an attitude.

Immaturity: Your partner upsets you and this immediately leads to a screaming argument. Also, you're not able to communicate what you want properly, which also leads to arguments.

Maturity: You understand that just because you feel a certain way (say you're angry at a person), that it doesn't actually make the thing that certain way (they're not actually stupid simply because you're angry at them.) You can remain objective and make allowances even when angry.

Immaturity: As soon as you're angry with someone, your perception becomes warped, and talking about them sounds like they've never done a good deed in their lives. You can't stay objective when talking about them, or acknowledge your role in what developed. Also, you'll get angry if someone mentions you might have had a role in how things turned out.

Social Intelligence

-- Understanding what's appropriate for various social situations (connected with emotional intelligence)

Maturity: Someone gets rude with you, or subtly insults you in some way. You can let this go, shrug it off, or respond in a way that addresses the rudeness while staying professional.

Immaturity: If anyone disrespects you, you loudly disrespect them right back, and this quickly escalates. Also, you hold grudges with anyone this happens with, then talk about it behind their back (and perception becomes warped like in the previous example.)

Maturity: You can recognize when you're at fault, and take blame, but you can also recognize when you're actually not at fault, and refute blame. You can do both of these with tact (said in such a skilled way as to not put off others.)

Immaturity: You can never take blame or constructive feedback, and respond by immediately justifying / denying (often very loudly), or blaming someone else. The other side of this is taking blame when you don't actually have any, and playing victim.

Maturity: You recognize how your emotions and actions will affect those around you. You don't moan and complain when there's work because it brings everyone else down.

Immaturity: You completely disregard how you affect the people around you, and expressing the way you feel at that moment is all that matters, and if anyone has a problem with it, then that's too bad for them.

Impulse Control

-- You can exert delayed gratification, and exercise discipline and restraint in everyday decisions.

Maturity: You really, REALLY want to call your ex in the middle of the night because you're thinking about them and miss them, but decide not to.

Immaturity: You call your ex in the middle of the night. Probably drunk.

Maturity: You get a rejection letter from a job where you went through 3 interviews over several weeks. You refrain from writing a snarky response, or writing something on their Yelp page.

Immaturity: Not only do you write back telling them what an absolute fish-for-brains they are, but you might even call them up and tell them. Then call all your friends and tell them. Then leave comments all over their social media page. (You've probably known at least one person who does this, right?)

Maturity: You don't feel like going to work on Monday, but you go anyway, rather than calling in sick. Likewise, you schedule to meet with someone, and keep your appointment, rather than blowing it off because you just weren't in the mood.

Immaturity: You call in sick to work, then an hour later post pictures on social media of you at the club.

Wisdom and maturity are two virtues that are out of reach of young people, as are the other virtues by some extent. This is because age is much more than just a number; there is a very clear difference between the young and old. This is a consideration one should keep in mind when determining what game others are playing, and how best to play it.

Once you've mastered these concepts, integrated them into your own life, and have a functional belief system or better, then you will have removed the beam from your own eye. At that point, you can ask your brother if he would like help with the speck in his own eye. And if he says no, or gets offended, you can apologize and let it go. It's his speck and his eye. However, you can also decide to try again later, and this time using language instrumentally and coaxingly, and convince him to remove the speck in his eye so that everyone is better off. You won't be called manipulative because society agrees with the outcome. But another choice is to not get involved. The best way to clear muddy water is to leave it alone, and sometimes people have to learn their own lessons. All of these approaches are valid. It comes down to what kind of game you want to play.

Go to bed at a reasonable hour with plans for what you want to accomplish tomorrow (foresightedness.) Actually go to bed on time and wake up on time (discipline.) Sort through your list of what needs to happen, prioritize, and prepare (discernment.) Carry out the days activities while navigating tricky situations as they arise (wisdom.) Be passionate, but not ideological (humility), and without being overly frustrated by inconveniences or setbacks (detachment.) Handle all this like an adult (maturity.)

There's one more required concept in this section.

Five Dimensional Map

If you imagine tying your shoes, there are a million ways you can loop the laces so that nothing at all happens. Some ways you loop them will create knots, which you also don't want. There's only a handful of ways to loop them so they end up tying your shoes appropriately. Life is the same way. There's millions of ways to act, but only a handful of ways make positive outcomes happen. So if you understood things properly in the here and now (aware of your own belief system, and the belief systems of others), and you were aligning yourself towards the highest possible good (as covered in the discussion of God), and straightened your life out by practicing and developing the seven virtues, then you are much better able to get a positive outcome in the here and now.

However, this means you're only using a 3 dimensional map of the world. People, places, and everyone presently involved in your decision, gives you a 3D view of things. But this isn't enough to be a good Game Analogist.

Imagine you have a child who is crying and is unhappy. If you wanted to make this child happy right now, you could do that, by giving the child what they want. That's best for right now, but that's not best across time. The decisions you make should be based on principles and strategies that work now, next week, next month, and next year. Impulsive people only want what's good for them right now. People who find themselves in survival mode are chronic short-term thinkers. They're very, very good at surviving, but that's about it. To thrive, you need to operate on principles that take the future into account. This gives you a 4D map. This is much better, but there's still a way to improve.

The strategy you're using must also work across possibilities. People will preach the gospel of goodness in a condescending way, and moralize from a place of self-righteousness about all the evils in the world, as if they're experts on theology. These people are so extremely well cared for, have never gone hungry, and are safe and sound in a society where, if they are ever in serious trouble, they can dial a three digit number and help will be sent immediately. Take away their wealth, and put them under a bridge without all their creature comforts, and they'd cry like a child. Their grand wisdom disappears, and none of their life advice means anything. That's because they may have a 4D map, but they don't have a map that works across all possibilities, or a 5D map.

A 3D map helps make your child happy right now. A 4D map takes into consideration his future, and a time when he'll need to make himself happy without you. A 5D map considers all possible futures, including those where he may be homeless, he may be called off to fight a war, or he may encounter any number of other disasters. A parent possessing a 5D map understands that he may very well have to act in a way that makes his child miserable right now, so long as he's facilitating the character development that will lead to success later no matter what circumstances the future brings; or, said another way, you must cause suffering now to have a Tier 1 outcome later. And at long last, what it means to have "everyone better off" in a Tier 1 outcome should start to make sense. And it should also make sense that it will indeed require moral flexibility. A 5D map means you are using a strategy that accounts for both the best and worst possible situations.

An example of a 5D map can be seen in the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors. Joseph is betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery. Because Joseph is using a 5D map -- or a strategy for handling life that takes into account the best and worst possible situations across time; he's aligned with God; has the right character traits (similar to the virtues discussed earlier); and is always aiming for a tier 1 outcome. Therefore, he ends up leading the very caravan he was sold into. He has a belief system that is not just functional, but optimal. When he gets to Egypt, the Pharaoh's wife tries to seduce Joseph, but he refuses because she's married, and to him it would be wrong to sleep with her. Egypt must have had a "believe all women" thing happening at that time, or at least the Pharaoh's wife did, because she accuses Joseph of trying to come onto her, and has him thrown in the dungeon. However, again, Joseph has a 5D map, so he goes from being in the dungeon to being among the Pharaoh's top advisors. Sometime after this, Joseph meets the same brothers who did this to him. He forgives them, they all become family again, and the story has a happy ending.

There is also the story about a clan of Japanese carpenters who were commissioned to build a temple. A rival clan wanted to be appointed, and were very resentful for not having been selected. So the night before the main pillar of the temple was to be raised and put in place with the emperor watching, the rival clan cut the pillar, in an attempt to ruin the reputation of the other clan and embarrass them on that important day. The next morning, the master builder arrives, finds the cut pillar, and raises it as normal. It fits perfectly. The master knew the other clan would try this, so he made the pillar too long on purpose. Hoping others will not act against you is at best a 4D map. Being prepared for when (not "if") they do act against you is having a 5D map. Become what the situation needs, across time, and across possibilities.

Your current approach to life should work whether or not you win the lottery tomorrow, or you lose your house in a massive fire. If your ethics have to be put on hold when you're starving, then you weren't using a very robust system of ethics to begin with. A firm, rigid, unchanging system of ethics is like stone. It will hold firm in tough situations, but it will also break as soon as things get tough enough. A better system will be like steel. It won't break; it will bend, twist, and dent, which is all okay because it's built with adverse forces in mind, and can be reshaped. A knight in shining armor hasn't seen battle yet, because armor doesn't shine when it comes out successfully on the other end of conflict. After a battle, steel can be adjusted and repaired. Don't write your truth in stone. Write it in steel.

To sum it up so far:

-- People create belief systems from a variety of psychological origins, like drives and value structures.

-- Belief systems are not right or wrong. They are functional, maladaptive, or nonfunctional. Belief systems largely determine what kinds of games people are going to play. And life is a game, and a series of games.

-- Your choices are to learn to play the game, find another game to play, change the game being played, stop playing altogether, or end up losing. Bringing a pool stick to a chess match won't work.

-- We are living in a post-evidence age. When discussing a belief system someone has, facts and logic are unlikely to have any effect. If someone's belief system has possession over them, facts and logic definitely won't work, and will probably make the situation worse, unless the facts and logic are carefully tailored to support their belief system.

-- Worry less about what may seem right or wrong at the moment, or what others believe to be right or wrong. Be morally flexible, and focus on winning.

Multiple Layers of Analysis

The section can be concluded by discussing the Multiple Levels of Analysis, or MLA. This can also be called "connecting the Meta to the Minutia". This is a concept that will be helpful, but isn't essential for making Game Analogy work. This will provide you with a different way of thinking about the world. Don't struggle with this next part. If it's too much, skip it and come back later.

What are the multiple levels of analysis?

Meta -- this is the highest possible abstraction. All truth, meaning, and purpose ultimately ends up here. A shortcut for this concept, especially when used in an actionable context, could be "God", though it may also be called other names, such as "the universe", or "great spirit" (or Steve, Jones, or Roy.) Describing this level through words may not be possible. For Taoist, it's considered literally impossible; "the true Tao cannot be spoken". The best we can do is describe the sub-meta, then get an idea of the meta.

Sub-meta -- The categorization of ultimate truth, or the meta. This is where we can begin grouping concepts from the meta into definable terms, such as honor, integrity, discipline, fortitude, faith, responsibility, sacrifice, and so on. These are virtues, or character traits, which are fundamentally connected with the ultimate good. We did this earlier in an attempt to provide a workable definition for God, though the true nature of God -- the Meta -- has been considered "unknowable" through the ages.

Global -- This further breaks down truth, and allows it to cross the line from pure abstraction into what it means to be human. Being human includes such things as having the will and ambition to affect our environment (often called "will to power"), the longing and desire to be loved, the outrage we all feel when we sense injustice. If a person lacks these things, we might ask ourselves "are you even human?" You can see how these elements easily tie into the sub-meta, which then ties into the meta.

Cultural -- Here, we get "cultural truths". What it means to be human is broken down into specific contexts. We express our humanity differently depending on where we are geographically and historically. If we removed all human culture (we mind-wiped everyone so all humans had amnesia), then let everyone go back to work, culture would simply come back (although it may look different.) This is because culture is not a top-down system that can be changed with enough effort and programming, as leftists currently believe at the time of this writing. It's inherently linked to what it means to be human, and is built upon evolution, biology, necessity, which itself is connected to an ultimate truth which is nearly impossible to put into words, or the Meta. It's at the cultural level that we need a shared narrative to bring everything together, or else we end up as atomized individuals barely able to co-exist.

Interpersonal -- This is the truth and understanding that plays a role between two individual people as they interact. We both need some degree of mutual understanding, or our interactions will not be meaningful. It's been said that if we could talk to ants, or even lions, that we'd have nothing much to say, because their reality is fundamentally different from ours, and regardless of time or effort, we simply would not have a mutually shared structure of truth that permeates through the cultural, global, submeta, and meta levels of truth. Rightists currently have difficulty talking to leftists because leftists are making the claim that truth is purely subjective, malleable, and relative. If that's the case, then we have nothing stable to stand on, and interpersonal interactions begin falling apart.

Personal -- Here, truth pertains to myself, and my lived experiences. Who am I? What am I? We are the stories we tell ourselves. Perhaps you've been through a tragic event. The way you tell the story will essentially contain the truth of who you are. Did this tragedy make you into a victim? A survivor? A hero? Each of these truths are valid. The story you tell creates the personal truth, which in turn affects you interpersonal interactions, which in turn is linked to culture, which in turn is tied to the global, and so on. It's at this level that "personal truth" is a real thing, and life experiences can, and do, help define reality.

Minutia -- This is the polar opposite of Meta. Here, truth is broken down into its most constituent parts. Perhaps I lift my arm up to my side, then lower it again. This is basic, objective truth. The thing on my body is called an "arm". It can't be broken down further than that or it loses its pragmatic usefulness as a concept. My arm is made of this and that, but unless this and that is needed as part of the discussion, it doesn't really mean anything. I lifted my arm out to the side. That's that.

Lifting my arm -- minutia.

I call this an "exercise" -- personal.

I'm doing this because how others see me, and how productive I can be physically, is important -- interpersonal.

Fitness and strength are admired -- cultural.

Being fit allows me to experience health and well-being, and express my will to power and achieve goals -- global.

Routinely exercising helps me build discipline, sacrifice, and fortitude -- submeta.

This is part of what it means to be good a good person -- meta.

In everything all around you, at all times, you can see how the meta is connected with the minutia, and vice versa. When a religious person says "all things are connected to God", it's the meta connecting to the minutia that they're referring to. You're at a party or gathering, and you notice how one woman is talking to a man. Her speaking words into the air is the minutia. She's talking and saying something important, which is the personal. She's doing this because she has an attraction to the guy she's talking to, which is interpersonal. There are things attached to the outcome she wants, which is approved by others around her, which involves the culture, and so on up to the Meta. If her mind is pursuing only pleasure, then she's using a 3D map, and will go off the rails at some point, falling off the proper way to the Meta. If she's after money and resources, then she's using a 4D map, as she's definitely thinking about her best interest over time, but this still falls short of the Meta. If she wants a fulfilling relationship that will last through good times and bad, then she's using a 5D map, and may find herself properly connecting the Meta to the Minutia.

However, remember how we discussed functional vs non-functional. What if the woman finds herself in a time and place where the culture has fallen so far from the meta, that the absolute best she can hope for is temporary companionship and that includes experience of physical intimacy? This could still be a tier 1 outcome. You must be morally flexible.

"Sin" means "to miss the mark" -- that mark being the Meta, or God. Let's say you're saving your money for a useful education, then you blow it all on gambling. You sinned because you missed the mark, and in this way, gambling is a sin. However, let's say you're saving your money for the purpose of going to the casinos next July. In this way, gambling is not a sin. Life is complicated.

There's lots of places where things can go sideways when lining up the meta with minutia. Is our culture truly lined up with the meta? Has our society become so toxic that the personal and interpersonal (I identify as a transgender cucumber) now affects the culture so much (call me by these pronouns or you're a bad person and I'll get you fired from your job), that our current path needs to be disregarded? If so, then is there a sort of "anchor" that we can return to, or reference, to get our bearings straight when this happens? Yes -- and having a shared narrative stemming from cultural mythos or religious scripture is often used for this purpose. Remember that it doesn't matter if the mythos or scripture is exactly empirically scientifically correct; it matters that it's functional or non-functional. Many cultures have tried to lay out fundamental truths on the personal, interpersonal, cultural, and global levels, which then lend themselves to revealing the submeta and meta, for the purpose of re-orienting society when things begin to go off course.

Mythos, Narratives, and Current Affairs

If the mythos or narrative that was being used is not recoverable, then if a group of people come together and earnestly align themselves with the highest possible good, developing the seven virtues, use a five dimensional map, and are always aiming for the highest tier outcome, then they could create a new mythos and narrative. This sometimes happens.

Picture showing comparison between the Egyptian god Horus and Jesus Christ, and lists off all the similarities, such as both of them being born of a virgin, both of them having twelve disciples, and so forth.

^ Notice how the stories are almost the same? Atheists will use this as one of their main criticisms of how religion is inherently false. But the fact that the stories are almost the same is a key indicator that the mythos was functional. When a society becomes non-functional (it strays too far off from the meta and their mythos, and narratives are abandoned), that society may collapse (although sometimes they're conquered.) However, the shared narrative that made the society work in the first place is still functional! The next society that rises up will switch out the characters, but it will basically be the same. Roman Gods were nearly the same as Greek Gods. The concept of there being an absolute essence-, or thing, that governs a particular area of life, was still functional.

People will wonder if there's any such thing as "eternal truth", if truth is always changing. The answer is yes. The Meta (God, Great Spirit, The Universe), Sub-meta (the nature of said things), and Global (what it means to be human) are generally eternal and unchanging. Cultural truths can change, but very slowly; they are born, they live, and they die, just like people, and they can last for hundreds of years. Interpersonal truths, like the customs that a community or neighborhood can hold, may last a few lifetimes. Personal truths often change a few times in a given lifetime. Finally, the minutia, or exact way of doing things, can change very often.

If the US, or any other major western nation ever collapses, whatever takes its place will need a narrative or mythos that connects the meta to the minutia, uses a 5D map, encourages people to straighten themselves out, and allows people to strive for a tier 1 outcome while being morally flexible enough to deal with the practicalities of life in an ever-changing world. Perhaps K'vidism, or something like it.

Consider the following narrative that describes what being the perfect person would look like.

Let's take Steve. Steve lives in a single room apartment in New York. He works a job in Pizza Delivery, which is just stereotypical and relatable enough to work for this story. Steve takes his job seriously and treats everyone with kindness and respect. When he comes home from work, he offers to help his neighbors with any troubles they're having. They offer to pay him, but he declines, because he's just glad he could help. He even returns the cart to the rightful place when he's out shopping for groceries. Yes, he's that much of a good guy -- he even returns the cart. After a while, everyone gets to know ol Steve. He's well liked and well known all over town.

One day, Steve is falsely accused of something. You would think everyone would come to his defense, but they don't, despite how much he's helped them. People go on social media and spread defamatory memes about Steve. They spew insults when they see him. Things get bad enough that the police are called, and Steve is arrested -- now remember, he's innocent, but that doesn't matter. Once accused, you're guilty in the court of public opinion, so he gets dragged off to jail.

Steve evokes his right to remain silent when being evaluated by the judge. The judge looks over the evidence, but sees nothing wrong. However, the crowd now wants Steve dead (that escalated quickly.) When he's returned to his cell, the police start beating him, which just goes to show that some things never change. They beat him within an inch of his life. Somehow or another, it's determined he should be executed, and they decide to drag him off to the execution chamber the very next day, while a crowd of people -- the same people he spent all his time helping -- jeer at him, mock him, and spit at him.

Now, let's make things interesting.

Let's give Steve a button in his hand that he could push at any time, which would detonate a nuclear weapon, and absolutely vaporize everyone. Every last single one of these fools will burn for their betrayal -- but not Steve! The button will also activate a force field around him, leaving him totally unaffected, so he can stand there and watch as everyone screams in agony, burned from the radioactive fallout. How many of you wish you had this button for far less severe circumstances than what Steve finds himself in?

Well Steve holds onto this button, but deliberately chooses to never use it, and instead, forgives everyone. Steve dies, having forgiven the people who treated him this way.

That's the story of Jesus. Or... Horus. Or -- switch out the names all you want, and change the details; the story has lasted through the ages because it is so tremendously powerful and awe inspiring. If you genuinely believe this story, it can transform you. We've all had moments in our lives where the world was unbelievably unfair, especially in recent times, and we've all wished we could "do something". We've had hate fantasies where we imagine exactly what we would do to the people responsible for our misery, and how we'd go even further than detonating a nuclear weapon, because that would be too easy. It would be over too fast. You would want the people responsible to suffer. But ultimately, what does this accomplish? Does this bring you closer, or further from what you know to be the highest possible good? You know the answer -- and it's why the story of Jesus has lasted so long. The story itself was around even before Jesus. It's a story of what it would look like if a person truly lived the best life possible, under the worst circumstances possible.

Now these stories have to be retold and updated as time goes on. That the Bible has multiple versions, and has been updated, is not a weakness; it's what's supposed to happen. Life in modern day America is not even slightly the same as it was in ancient Jerusalem. Sure, certain truths remain eternal and transcendent (the Meta and Sub-meta, maybe even the Global), but other truths (from Cultural on downward) absolutely change.

For example, consider that along with the advent of the birth-control pill, the progressives won the culture war in the 60s, and both of these events led to de-stigmatizing teenage pregnancy and single motherhood. What followed was logical: if women can choose whether to be mothers, then men can choose to leave and not be fathers. This would have been totally unthinkable in ancient Jerusalem.

This in turn meant children grew up without a reliable family unit that had both a mom and a dad. Single mothers still have to earn an income, which makes it even harder to raise a child and inculcate them with the proper cultural narrative and mythos that would normally be shared by others. Another unintended consequence of women entering the workforce is that the workforce doubled, and cut in half the wages for each individual worker. Because of events discussed earlier, college degrees were made useless, meaning a college education is no longer a way out from any of this.

The economic hardships greatly limit the number of children couples can reasonably have down to either one, or zero (and if it's zero, the maternal-drive is still there and gets expressed in other ways, as we discussed previously.) Having only one child, instead of 10 or 11, meant each child was now being coddled and pampered, and treated as though they were overly-special, while at the same time not getting reliable role models from both a mom and a dad. This meant little boys never learned how to express their masculinity skillfully, and little girls never learned what skillful masculinity is supposed to look like. This means young men adopt outward expressions of aggression and violence, and young women confuse competence and assertiveness with power and abuse.

The ultimate result is that neither men nor women develop the internal character traits needed to facilitate a healthy relationship based on honest communication. This means your average person is no longer able to maintain stable long-term relationships, so hook-up culture was developed, and both men and women convinced themselves -- with some effort -- that this was somehow better than the strong and stable traditional relationship the earlier generation enjoyed. They call what the earlier generation had "oppression", and call the miserable, empty loneliness and meaningless intercourse they have now "liberation".

And now you find yourself stuck in the midst of it all, wishing you could find a single person who had their life together just barely enough to enjoy laying next to them, so you can at least feel a slight inkling of what you might have had, if these events did not unfold the way they did. And if you ever say any of this out loud, you'll be accused of being patriarchal and misogynist.

There is no going back to the 1950s, where you meet a woman at work, fall in love, get married, and raise a family. At work you'll be Me-Too'd, or called into HR for harassment. You can try swiping on dating apps, but anyone with any familiarity knows how this typically plays out. We have all become disposable to each other. And let's say you did, by pure blind luck, manage to find your true one-and-only. If you sign a marriage contract, the law in the US at the time of this writing allows the woman to take half of everything you've ever worked for, that she did not work for, all because you signed on the dotted line. And even if you do not sign a marriage contract, if you cohabitate with a woman for some length of time, you may end up in what's called a "common-law marriage", and she can still take half of your possessions. All of this is to say that the law very strongly encourages you to never commit to a long term relationship, even if that was never the intention.

Now let's go back to our story about Steve.

If we were retelling the story, what would it look like if Steve fell in love with a woman? This is conspicuously absent from the earlier story of Jesus, probably because no one in the ancient world had the birth control pill, or the modern technology that allows for the world we have now. If a woman had sex, she probably got pregnant. Getting pregnant means having a child. Society demanded a man care for the child, so they got married, and then he took care of her whether he liked it or not, end of story.

It's clearly not that way anymore. So if we told the story of Steve to include this facet of life, what would that story look like? Remember everything we've discussed so far about K'vidism, then imagine a person following such a lifestyle -- but also keep in mind that most people in the dating pool are not following K'vidism and do not have their lives straightened out at all. Should the K'vidist just stay all alone, given that no one else follows a similar lifestyle? Or should they mix with others who follow a completely undisciplined hot-mess of a life using a 3D map? Other religions have seriously discussed this, and different approaches have been put in place. Muslims and Jews for example, are strongly encouraged not to marry people outside of their religion. "If you lay down with dogs, don't be surprised when you stand up with fleas". Other religions, like Buddhist and Taoists, are much more open, but being open does come with costs and trade-offs, such as introducing conflict, the clashing of values, and weakening the adherence to your faith. Mormons allow marriage to non-mormons, but their faith has rules regarding this.

The structure of K'vidism focuses on the individual K'vidist first, and then guides interaction with other people through Game Analogy. A K'vidist can still date and experience intimacy with others, since that's better than being forever alone (leads to a higher tier outcome), so long as they're doing it with a healthy understanding of boundaries (discernment), do not let themselves be dragged down into the bad habits of the person they're dating (discipline), and know when to say no because dating just wouldn't be good for either person (wisdom.) The K'vidist can accept when they were factually wrong (detachment), avoid petty arguments (humility), and might also be able to influence the other person for the time that they're together, offer advice or improve their lives in some way even after the relationship ends (foresightedness.) And when it ends, part ways amicably (maturity.) This means everyone is genuinely better off for the relationship having happened, even if it didn't last, and even if it revolved mostly around intimacy. Yes, a long lasting commitment is better, but it's not always possible, especially if the culture you're living in doesn't support or encourage it.

What would it look like if Steve were laid off from his job, or unemployed? This is another part of life that's absent from the story of Jesus, because in the ancient world, there was always a need for physical labor of some type. That's just not the case anymore. In the 1960s, if you saw a "Now Hiring" sign, you could walk in with your resume in hand, and ask to speak to the manager. A firm handshake and a few questions later meant you could start tomorrow.

At the time of this writing, an entry level job could require 4 years experience, 3 job interviews, 2 background checks, and a partridge in a pear tree. There is no talking to the manager; you will be told to apply online. Demanding and insisting to speak to the manager will result in the manager finally coming out and telling you to apply online. They will not even consider looking at the resume you have in your hand -- you have to apply online. And if you do apply online, and upload your resume, on the next page you will be asked to manually fill out each and every thing that's already on your resume. This will require going from text-bar to text-bar, painstakingly filling in dates, addresses, and phone numbers, and again, is all for an entry level job. If you're using wi-fi and your signal drops, and you click "submit", you might be met with a white page saying "no internet connection" or "page timed out", forcing you to re-load, and all the information you entered is gone, and must be entered again. When you finally do get through this process, no human will ever see your resume. It will enter into a cloud with tens of thousands of other resumes, and an AI algorithm will scan them all for keywords, and select a resume. It is not uncommon for a person to apply to quite literally hundreds of jobs in hopes that the bountiful and merciful AI overlord that determines if you will work or not selects you out of the thousands of others. Then, at the end of it all, Steve gets hired. And three days later, gets fired. Why? Global supply chain disruption caused by one single person on the other side of the world named "Putin" who made one single decision, which caused a cascade of economic changes which affected your company's ability to operate, requiring necessary layoffs. In the middle of all this, your college degree, which you may have worked very hard for, means nothing, for reasons we discussed earlier. You're back to applying for hundreds of jobs -- this time in a homeless shelter because there was just no way to pay your rent without a job. What does Steve do? What's the best way to handle this? "Forgive them" doesn't change the fact that you're still homeless. It also doesn't change the fact that 175 dollars on your food stamps card is just simply not enough to let you eat for the entire month. Finally, no one cares how many hundreds of jobs you've applied for. They only see that you're homeless, and forgiving them after every negative interaction will not change how each of them keep treating you. And their view is not based on simple ignorance, because the guy to the right of you and left of you are both drunk or drugged out of their minds, acting like fools, and giving substance to the view that homeless people are like that.

We mentioned Joseph a little while ago, and how he had a 5D map. But if that story happened in today's world, a more realistic outcome would be that his brothers see him in Egypt, recognize him, and then just don't care. "Yea, you were that kid we abused. So?" They might feign some acknowledgement with a half smile and a nod, but that's it. If Joseph is in a position of power in today's world, he can't get away with arresting the brothers who hurt him as a kid. There's too much of an image and press coverage to worry about. And of course there's no reason for his brothers to all be together when they meet him later in life. That's just silly. One brother works in tech and is always on his laptop, another lives in California and never contacts anyone. Another one is in jail. Another one's homeless and addicted to something. Another one's a recluse and conspiracy theorist who never leaves his house because jet fuel can't melt steel beams and Epstein didn't kill himself. Two others have died from overdose, and another committed suicide. So maybe one or two are left, but they see and recognize Joseph and simply don't care. And why would they? The world of today is just very, very different, and so the stories have to change. The Meta stays the same, but everything from the cultural level on down has to be updated.

The narrative and mythos must be retold in a way that addresses the concerns of the world we now live in. Love thy neighbor? The one with the dog that barks all night, who will respond to any act of kindness by telling you to go to hell? Treat others as you'd have them treat you? But what if they refuse to treat you the way you treat them, and simply keep taking advantage of you? K'vidism provides the principles, and Game Analogy provides the tools and metrics for helping to retell these stories in a modern context.

Types of Games

We've talked a lot about games, and how people play games based on belief systems. Some examples of games were Mrs White, who had a fear of dance floors, and decided to play the game of blaming her husband; the game Mr. Logos encountered while applying for a job as a housing retention specialist, and the game the feminist plays by insisting a national conspiracy of sexism against women is the only explanation for the wage gap. The following gives you a way of thinking about categories of games people might choose to play. Each type breaks down into at least two subtypes.

Type 1 -- Cooperative. This is where all parties are cooperating, and being very open and honest. Nothing is being hidden, and there's no ulterior motives.

Type 1A -- "Trivial." This includes small talk that happens for only a few minutes, or pointless banter that happens between friends at work.

Type 1B -- "Serious." Sitting down with your wife and trying to figure out the problems you're having in your marriage, or discussing with a friend, who knows how to listen, about how something seriously affected you, are examples. An enjoyable deep philosophical discussion would also be an example.

Type 2 -- Competitive. This is an adversarial relationship. You're fighting against someone, or competing with them.

Type 2A -- "Oppositional". Walmart and Target are engaged in a type 2A game, as neither wants to utterly destroy the other, but both are engaged in an ongoing competition. A martial arts competition also falls under this category.

Type 2B -- "Vicious". You are at war. Ukraine and Russia are currently engaged in a Type 2B game. A street fight would also fit here. This doesn't necessarily mean there are no rules; neither Ukraine nor Russia are using chemical or biological weapons. In a street fight, it's still considered foul to pull a knife or a gun.

Type 3 -- Power differential. This involves one party having power over the other.

Type 3A -- "Voluntary". An example is a general having command over his soldiers, or a foreman having say over what will happen on a given day. The people involved are usually there because they've chosen to be there.

Type 3B -- "Coercive". This is where you swindle, blackmail, or force someone into doing what you want them to. Even if people are choosing to be involved, it's because they've been misled into making the choice.

Type 4 -- Hidden. This is a game where it looks like one set of interactions are happening, but there's an ulterior motive at work. It's different from a type 3B because it doesn't involve one person having power over the other.

Type 4A -- "Harmless". You come home from work complaining about your day, and your wife comes and hugs you. You knew if you complained, you would get the hug, which is why you did it. No harm done, and in fact it was quite enjoyable. You might also try to act intelligent in front of others because you want to be noticed by them. While this might be cringe, it's still rather harmless.

Type 4B -- "Exploitive". Here, you constantly play the victim (or some other role), because you want the benefits that go along with that identity. Calling out sick from work when you really just don't feel like going is this type of game. Another example is how the media wouldn't continue giving attention to Greta Thunburg if it didn't keep giving them clicks and ratings. You might also needlessly challenge authority in an inappropriate way because you want to feel strong and powerful. Sovereign Citizens do this. The police have to spend their time going through the motions with someone who rolls down their car window only an inch and then haggles over the definition of words like "drive" vs "travel", because this brings power and purpose to an otherwise meaningless and boring life.

Type 5 -- Subconscious. These are games that people don't know they're playing. They happen on a subconscious level. Type 4 games could end up here, depending on the level of awareness the person has of them.

Type 5A -- "Adaptation". A feminist who believes in the wage gap despite anything you could show her, and insists that all men are potential rapists, is most likely adapting to some earlier trauma involving an experience with men. A young earth creationist probably has extremely fond memories of going to church as a child, and wants to continue having similar experiences as an adult by proselytizing his religion. Both examples are adaptive behaviors with origins and drives that the person isn't consciously aware of.

Type 5B -- "Aberration". A woman brings her husband coffee. It's slightly cold, so he throws it across the room and screams at her. The husband came back from active duty in a war zone a few weeks ago, and has been through some terrible things. If asked, he might not even know that his behavior is off, or he will justify it, but won't know why he did it. This is different from a type 5A because it strongly interferes with a person's ability to live a normal life. The feminist can navigate the world just fine, all the while believing ridiculous things.

"Drama" is any game where the payoff for the person playing is a cheap emotional experience, and typically comes at the expense of those around them, and does not lead towards gaining access to power, status, or resources that benefit themselves or others. A woman accusing her boyfriend of cheating in the middle of a restaurant is wanting a chance to express dark emotions, and also wants an audience while she does so. The boyfriend might get defensive and start explaining himself, but this only gives her an opportunity to prolong the interaction and get more of the emotional payoff. If the woman wanted, she could address her concerns like a mature adult in private, but that behavior would be aimed at solving a problem and wouldn't provide the same kind of dark emotional experience in front of an audience that she actually wants. Drama is most often going to be found in the type 4 or 5 category.

The above is not an exhaustive list of all possible games that people could engage in, but it's a start. As more people begin using game analogy, the list may grow, until nearly all forms of human interactions are categorized properly.

The Universal Formula

So how do games work? The following formula is absolutely crucial to making Game Analogy work. That's bold, underlined, and italicized, so you know it means business. This formula is at the core of every interaction between everyone, everywhere, at all times, whether you are playing the game or not.

The formula is:

Incentives <-- Goals <-- Games --> Rules --> Enforcement. This is referred to as IGGRE for short.

In order for games to work, you need rules. These are a series of things you cannot do, and things you must do. Imagine driving a car (in the US): you cannot go (too far) over the speed limit, and you must wear a seat belt. At work, you cannot leave until your shift is over, and you must show up on time.. In a relationship, you cannot date anyone else, and we must do things we enjoy doing together.

In order for rules to work, you need enforcement. If you do not wear your seatbelt, or you go (too far) over the speed limit, men with guns will pull you over and write you a ticket, and drag you off to jail by force if you refuse to cooperate. If you are perpetually late to work, or you start leaving early, you could be fired. If you stop spending time with your significant other, or you're caught dating someone else, they'll break up with you.

If you do not have enforcement, you do not have rules. If you do not have rules, you do not have a game. Imagine if no one ever pulled you over for speeding. That'd be great, wouldn't it? But it also means that people would gradually begin driving 85 in 45 mile per hour zones, making the roads extremely dangerous.

To illustrate just how deep this goes, imagine for a moment that you found a magic android phone, and an android genie popped out (because an iPhone genie would break after just a few wishes and you'd have to get a new one.) The android genie says that laws will no longer apply to you for any activity or interaction you have regarding the banking or financial systems. This means, essentially, you can walk into a bank and take whatever money you want. But you'd never do that, right? You're a good person. You'd never just walk in and steal other people's money. That would be wrong.

However, a few weeks go by, and you had to miss a few days of work due to some personal emergency, your car needed unexpected repairs, and you're going to be short on paying your bills this month. It wouldn't hurt to take a few hundred, right? Similar to Carlos Mencia from earlier, you decide it will be okay, just this once. In fact, you take a little more than you need, so you have some left over to help you relax from a stressful month. The next day, you realize just how easy that was, and how much your life has improved. In no time at all, you're taking thousands. Then tens of thousands. Then millions. You went from being a person who'd never take anyone else's money to someone who does it regularly, and it's totally justified. The moral of the story is that without enforcement, there's no rules. With no rules, the game ends, and a completely different game gets played.

Not everyone needs enforcement to follow the rules. In the West, these people are sometimes called "saints". The Buddhists call them "Bodhisattvas". In K'vidism and Game Analogy, we call these people "Meta-focused." You are probably not one of these. You will, given enough time and just the slightest bit of pressure, begin ignoring rules that are not enforced. This applies to agencies, charities, governments -- everyone. Do you really believe politicians follow the US constitution purely out of the goodness of their hearts? They follow it because if they don't, We, The People, will start causing a lot of trouble. Do you think police enforce the law properly because they're good people? They follow protocol and procedure because if they don't, they'll get sued, as well as possibly spark nation-wide protests. And do you, oh innocent reader, follow the law purely because you're a good person? The enlightenment philosophers understood the need for checks-and-balances in government, but they exist everywhere. In the free market, companies that fail to live up to expectations will see their customers leave, or face boycotts. Employees will leave if employers are too demanding, and employers will fire employees who stray too far out of line. Again, unless you dress in white robes and perform miracles, you need enforcement just like everyone else. And if you don't think so, you're probably wrong.

Enforcement can come from one of three places. It can be:

1. Internal. This is enforcement that comes from inside yourself. In the famous novel Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov kills an elderly woman, thinking her death would be a net benefit for society. However, after doing so, he's wracked with guilt. The fear of consequences, even if it's just the knowledge that you did something terrible that will follow you around forever, is a form of internal enforcement. If you're thinking of stealing from your company, but then you feel tremendously guilty and begin reflecting on what kind of person this makes you, then you're experiencing internal enforcement. The idea of God looking down on you, or the threat of hell in the afterlife, also fall under internal enforcement, as these are part of the belief system that the person in question has (or perhaps this belief system has them.) Psychopaths, as part of their diagnosis, lack empathy, and therefore do not have this kind of enforcement. People who have become extremely callus and cynical may also no longer respond to internal enforcement.

2. Societal. This is the enforcement that comes from society, or government agencies, like the police. Lets say your reputation would be ruined if you were caught stealing from your company, and no one would hire you after that. This is also a form of societal enforcement. In the US, cultural norms used to stigmatize a great number of things, like joining a gang, cheating on your spouse, getting pregnant before marriage, and drug use. Stigma is a form of societal rule enforcement. The leftists, possessed by the belief system of cultural Marxism, campaigned for de-stigmatization across the board. They've so far managed to remove or warp the bulk of societal rule enforcement, thus destroying societal trust (a concept we'll talk about later.)

The question of which rules should stay and which rules should go is a tricky one. Should a person be stigmatized simply for being gay? Probably not, especially if we agree that this is something that can't be helped. Should you be stigmatized for having a disability? Again, most likely no, for the same reasons as the last one. Should you be stigmatized for doing drugs? It would be extremely helpful in discouraging people from using them. Should we stigmatize people who go to treatment to get off drugs? Of course not -- those are the people who should be celebrated. Consider for a moment that we have "gay pride parades" where we celebrate something a person can't help, but no "clean and sober' parades, for people who have managed to set themselves straight and rejoin society as healthy and productive members. The notion that everything must be destigmatized is part of cultural Marxism, and helps no one. Even the cultural Marxist themselves also don't believe this -- they'll happily stigmatize anyone who disagrees with their belief systems. Their game is to destigmatize (remove the enforcement) from the current system so that it will no longer work, and their system can be put in it's place.

3. Adversarial. This is enforcement that comes directly from the person or people you're playing a game with. If the neighbor with the barking dog doesn't feel bad that he's keeping you awake (internal), and there's no civil service agencies, police or otherwise, that will come and do anything about it (societal), you could go over and talk to him with a baseball bat in your hand. He'll probably do something about it then. You might say something like "listen, we can play a type 1B game, and reach a tier 1 outcome by having an honest discussion that results in conflict resolution, or we can play a type 2B game, and the same police who won't come out here to stop your dog from barking probably also won't come out here if I smash your car windows." Many people have their own internal enforcement working against them, preventing them from getting so confrontational, which is definitely a problem. There are therapies like "shadow work" that can help you overcome your internal enforcement and help you be more confrontational when you really need it.

Rules have to be enforced, and that enforcement has to come from somewhere: either internally from the person committing the act, from some societal or government agency, or from your newly acquired adversary.

Games also have to have goals. These are things you really want to do, and are motivated to accomplish. It's important that goals be articulated, or put into words, so you know exactly what it is you're trying to do. Some type 5 games are created because people appear to be working towards "something", but that something isn't clear. Have an idea of what you want to happen, put it into words or you could even write it down, and explain exactly why you want it to happen. Perhaps buying a house is a goal, getting a new job, or taking your significant other out on a date. Jordan Peterson's "future authoring program" has helped many people do this.

In order for goals to work, you need incentives -- which is the "why" you want the goal to happen. These are the good outcomes that happen as a result of achieving your goals. Buying a house means you have a nice place to live, and lots of great experiences will come with that, which is the incentive. If you knew ahead of time that buying a house would lead to nothing but misery, you wouldn't choose that goal. Getting a high paying job is a goal that will provide a wide range of options you can explore with the money you'll earn, and opening this realm of possibilities is the incentive. Again, if you knew that the outcome of getting this job would be an overall negative experience, even despite the additional income, you might not want such a job. Going out with your significant other is another goal, a chance to have great experiences and build wonderful memories is the incentive. If you have any experience with dating, you can already imagine just how many ways this example could go sideways. In Game Analogy, the ultimate goals are to gain access to status, power, resources, and experiences that benefit everyone across time and possibilities. The incentives are having a meaningful and fulfilling life that is filled with purpose that avoids unnecessary suffering. Games need some direction or aim that results in some sort of pay off, reward, or net positive outcome, or people wouldn't be playing them.

If you do not have incentives, you do not have goals. If you do not have goals, the game you're trying to play won't work.

Now let's consider the game called "be a good citizen". What are the goals and what are the rules?

To be a good citizen, you should treat others with kindness and civility. Stay in school. Work hard, save up, and go to college. Treat women with respect. Avoid alcohol (except maybe for weekends and holidays). Show up to work on time, work faithfully and with loyalty to your company; also have the attitude of really wanting to work and get the job done. Go to church Sunday mornings. Have discipline and restraint, stay out of trouble, and obey the law. Be charitable to your neighbors and community, and avoid unfair judgements against others. Put aside a little time each week to either donate to charity, or help those who are in need. Finally, straighten yourself out, accept responsibility, and clean your room!

Quite a number of goals there, isn't it? And of course there's a variety of rules throughout. Break a minor rule, and people will give you strange looks. Keep breaking minor rules, or break a more important rule, and someone will come over and talk to you. The enforcement starts off small, and gradually escalates. And what are the incentives? You get treated with the same kindness and consideration as you've given the people around you. People don't call the police if you walk by their houses at night. Or during the day. Or if you're in the local park having a bar-b-que. If you want a job, it's easy to find one -- people will recommend you. Say that you're sorry after committing a transgression, and people will forgive you and move on. Your hard work pays off, your college degree matters, you can afford to buy a house after a few years of hard work, you can get married, you can have kids, and you can live what is basically a good life.

Now let's remove all those incentives. Let's say you've done all the items listed in how to be a good citizen, but in return, you're treated with suspicion and cynicism by the people around you. Wanting respect means you think you're "privileged". If you want a job, you'll have to apply online hundreds of times just to get a job sweeping floors, pass a background check, a drug test, go through three interviews, and people who've known you for years refuse to be job references. You can lose that job at literally any time of any day, no matter how hard you work, due to global economic forces which you cannot see and have no control over. Saying you're sorry after committing a transgression just makes people 10 times louder and more accusatory, as now they have the chance to play the game of "righteous hero" by getting more and more stirred up the more you apologize. If you help anyone in your community, they'll show up at your door constantly wanting to borrow stuff or needing you to get involved in their petty troubles. Your hard work means nothing as you can be fired any minute for any reason, your college degree isn't worth the paper it's printed on, and you will never be able to afford a house no matter how many hours you put in (you might not even be able to afford rent in a one room apartment.) Getting married means your wife can leave you anytime, for any reason, and take half of everything you own, take your kids from you as well, and your life will actually be worse.

So what exactly is the point of playing the game of "Be a Good Citizen"? There's utterly no reason to put effort towards any of these goals if they do not have any incentives behind them. Like it was said at the start, this is one reason why young men are dropping out of society and retreating into video games. In a video game, everything is clear and predictable: you get your paladin up to level 30 and buy an iron sword so you can defeat the dragon. Once you defeat the dragon, you save the princess. Your progress never gets set back unexpectedly and at random; resting at the inn doesn't suddenly cost 35,000 gold pieces; the princess you saved doesn't take half of everything you've worked for because she found a slightly better looking hero; and you don't get stuck in the same area because decisions made by a single Russian player on the other side of the planet who disrupted supply chains which made it impossible to buy any better weapons or armor. The goals, incentives, rules, and enforcement are very clear, and they always happen the way they're supposed to in a video game.

In real world games, you simply do not get a chance at a good life anymore just by being a good Christian, never drinking, never smoking, and never cheating. Why build a life together with your significant other? What's the incentive, when the life you build might not be there tomorrow?

Let's take a look at a variation of the Trolley Problem, which is a famous philosophical thought experiment that you can read about online.

In the original version, there's two sets of train tracks. On one set of tracks, a single person has been tied down, and on the other set of tracks, four people have been tied down. An out of control trolley (or train) is coming down the tracks and will run over the track with four people tied to it. Do you flip the switch, causing the train to run over the one person, or leave it alone, allowing it to run over the four? The answer to this, and other questions this thought problem brings up, is a great way to philosophize about ethics.

In our version, let's imagine the single person tied down is your one true love. (If you don't have a true love, or romantic motivation isn't appealing to you, then replace this person with someone else who is tremendously important to you -- more important than anyone else in the whole wide world.) Now the train is coming. Your true love screams out to you, making eye contact with a desperate pleading look, saying all the right things to motivate you to save them. Do you flip the switch, ending the life of your one true love right in front of you? Or do you allow it to run over the four? Let's say for the sake of this example that you decide to save your true love. The train runs over four people. You rush right past the carnage and untie your significant other from the tracks and embrace them.

After the warm embrace, your true love thanks you... but informs you that they've met someone else recently, that they'll be leaving you and spending their lives with this other person. Seconds later, the other person pulls up in a very nice car, and the passenger door opens. Your former significant other rushes over to the passenger seat, thanking you again for saving their life, then hops in the car and drives off with their new love. You're left standing there amidst the devastation, both around you and within you.

However...

Right at that moment, a telephone booth falls from the sky. Two disheveled teenagers step out, doing air-guitar and introduce themselves as the Wild Stallions, Bill and Ted. They know your situation is totally bogus, dude, but tell you not to worry! They offer to take you back in time just minutes before you pull the switch, and let you make the decision all over again. Sure enough, you step into the phone booth, and back in time you go, arriving at the same situation you were in earlier: your true love on one set of tracks, and four people on the other set of tracks. Your true love looks at you just as they did before, same expression, same exact words. Knowing what you know now... what would you do?

Game Analogy suggests you start at the place of already knowing and acknowledging the worst possible outcome in every situation (part of having a 5D map.) Do not ever expect people to act purely out of the goodness of their hearts. Meta-based people will do this, and they are the exception to the IGGRE formula, but they are extremely rare, and you are probably not dating one. Everyone else, everything else, and everywhere else, operates according to IGGRE.

Your significant other popped up from the tracks after you untied them because there was no internal enforcement to the rule saying they owe it to stay with you after saving their lives. Society says consent outweighs all other considerations, and consent can never be "owed", especially not to you if you're a cis-gender white male. So there's no societal enforcement, along with there being no internal enforcement, and you can't become adversarial and enforce anything either, because society will enforce it's rules upon you if you try to do so. Trying to sit down and have an honest discussion with your significant other won't work, because while both of you can agree to a whole slew of things, and feel extra good about your agreements at the time they're made, rules simply do not exist without enforcement. Nothing you've agreed to will hold together unless it's enforced.

On the other hand, if you're both deeply religious, that increases the chance for internal enforcement, as you genuinely believe God will know of your infidelity. If you live in a religious society, that also increases the chance for societal enforcement. Finally, imagine that if in all cases, the one who cheats loses half their wealth to the partner that didn't cheat (regardless whether it was the man or did it), this sets in place proper adversarial enforcement. This means you're very likely to enjoy a faithful relationship, but only because all three types of enforcement are present. So if the both of you are religious (or have some other internal enforcement), belong to a church (or have some other societal enforcement), and live in a society that also allows one party to sue the unfaithful party (or have some other form of adversarial enforcement), then rescuing your true love from the train tracks will have a very different outcome.

The incentive also has to be there. If your significant other has been making your life hell for the last several months, and you've been wishing you could just leave them... and then you just happen to see them tied to the tracks next to a separate set of tracks that has four people on it... well here's your chance to end the relationship. There might even be just one person on the other sets of tracks. The other person might even be Hitler. "Which is worse? Dealing with this person for another minute, or... well, Hitler?" If it's funny, it's because you've definitely been there. A lack of incentive can cost nearly as much as a lack of enforcement.

Also consider that if the other person sees some other opportunity that promises something more, they may leave and go after that. If your man meets a woman who's a bit thinner and more beautiful, or your woman meets a man who's a bit taller and richer, and your partner hasn't integrated the seven virtues and isn't using a 5D map, then incentives alone will not be as effective as enforcement alone. This is why Machiavelli rightly pointed out "it's better to be feared (have enforcement) than loved (have incentives)". Which is stronger or better between incentives and enforcement is a philosophical discussion that can be had, but both must be considered in your dealings with other people to make Game Analogy work.

IGGRE and Trust

Now let's talk for a moment about "trust". This is another key concept.

Not every single interaction needs to be explicitly defined in terms of goals and rules. A nebulous understanding is often good enough, and in fact, is often preferable. Taken from an article written on the Forbes website, 2006, titled "The Economics of Trust", the opening paragraph:

Imagine going to the corner store to buy a carton of milk, only to find that the refrigerator is locked. When you've persuaded the shopkeeper to retrieve the milk, you then end up arguing over whether you're going to hand the money over first, or whether he is going to hand over the milk. Finally you manage to arrange an elaborate simultaneous exchange. A little taste of life in a world without trust--now imagine trying to arrange a mortgage.

A paper written by Stephen Knack, a senior economist at the World Bank who's been studying the concept of trust in economics for over a decade, has written a great paper on the subject titled "Trust, Associational Life and Economic Performance". From the paper:

Douglass North (1990, p. 54) has argued that "the inability of societies to develop effective, low-cost enforcement of contracts is the most important source of both historical stagnation and contemporary underdevelopment in the Third World." Spot market transactions allow some gains from trade, but most of the potential benefits from specialization will be forgone in the absence of any trust-dependent trades, i.e. trades that occur over time or across space, and which are thus subject to opportunism on the part of one or both parties to the transaction. For example, goods and services may be provided in exchange for a promise of a future payment. Creditors loan money to debtors on the promise of future repayment. Managers hire employees to accomplish tasks that are difficult to monitor or measure. Investors rely on assurances by firms (and governments) that they will not expropriate these assets. Savers similarly rely on banks (and governments). According to Arrow (1972, p. 357), "Virtually every commercial transaction has within itself an element of trust, certainly any transaction conducted over a period of time. It can be plausibly argued that much of the economic backwardness in the world can be explained by the lack of mutual confidence."

Individuals in higher-trust societies can spend less to protect themselves from being exploited in economic transactions. Written contracts are less likely to be needed, and they do not have to specify every possible contingency. Individuals in high-trust societies are also likely to divert fewer resources to protecting themselves - through tax payments, bribes, or private security services and equipment - from unlawful (criminal) violations of their property rights. Low trust can also discourage innovation: if entrepreneurs must devote more time to monitoring possible malfeasance by partners, employees, and suppliers, they have less time to devote to innovation in new products or processes.

So what is trust? It's basically a general understanding that the other side will, in fact, follow the rules, because enforcement is assumed to be in place, and that the other side will accomplish the goals given to them, because incentives are also assumed to be in place. Hence, I can trust the shopkeeper to let me buy some milk. We both know the rules for this exchange. My goal is to get milk. His goal is to get money. It's all assumed, left in the background, and given little thought.

A paper entitled "The Economics of Trust: Explaining Differences in Corporate Structures between the US and Japan", written by Mark Casson on Oxford's Academic website, explains how a small island in the pacific, not abundant in natural resources or some extremely educated population, managed to become ranked as the 4th largest economy in the world as of 2023, and the answer has to do with trust among its population. When a large population of people have trust (assumed enforcement and incentives), which is held together by belief-system elements like patriotism, nationalism, and conformity, they can simply do more, even when they have less.

A question asked on Quora, "What is the most Japanese thing ever", had this answer by Scott Egan:

I worked in a government office in Japan thirty years ago. After one month on the job I returned to my desk (after being away the ENTIRE day) to find $3,000 worth of yen on my desk. Just sitting there, right on top, in fresh new bills. I, of course, reported this to my boss, who replied that it was my salary, and presented the pay receipt that was underneath.

This simply has to be the most exclusively Japanese thing there is. What other country would have had this as a common practice?

I have no idea whether this is still done today.

Imagine this happening in America. How many places could you leave 3,000 dollars on someone's desk, and expect no one else to take it? If you tried that in Gary Indiana, that money would be gone quicker than a freshly baked pizza left in front of a homeless shelter for former Olympic sprinters. This most likely couldn't take place in America anyway, as money cannot be simply handed to employees; everything has to be documented, so it has to go through the payroll department and be issued out in the form of a check or direct deposit. Why? We have nowhere close to the level of trust that Japanese society does. Our government doesn't trust us or big businesses, big businesses don't trust the government or us, and we don't trust big business or our government. This is also partly why companies require years of experience, background checks, and drug tests, for an entry level job -- they simply can't trust the people they hire. Are you going to show up drunk? Are you going to bring drugs to work? Are you going to steal from us?

It should also be clear now how the political left, and their effort to "destigmatize everything", and focus only on identity groups and completely ignore personal responsibility and merit, has eroded societal trust to the point where it is now. Stigma is a kind of societal enforcement, the right question is what should be stigmatized, and what shouldn't. And if you've demonstrated yourself to be a good, law-abiding, trustworthy person, then you should be treated as a good, law-abiding, trustworthy person, no matter what your skin color, gender, or identity group is.

But the effort to destigmatize everything is only one example of how trust gets eroded.

Imagine going to college, never drinking, never using drugs, working hard all your life, and having no criminal record. Your reward is unemployment. You can't work any manual labor job because you'll be called "over qualified". Enjoy hard work? Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when you load up a truck? Enjoy getting the exercise? Too bad. Your good choices are punished.

Imagine you start your own business, and over 5 years, build it steadily from the ground up until you're successful and thriving. Then someone in China eats a bat and spreads a virus (or it escapes from a lab, whichever explanation you prefer) and all businesses are forced to shut down over a virus that, statistically, is not any more deadly than the seasonal flu, causing you to lose everything you worked so hard to build.

Imagine having a college degree and being a former business owner, and putting in hundreds of job applications across months of time, only to finally land a bottom level management position. The pay isn't much, but at least it's something. Then one single person on the other side of the world decides to invade a neighboring country, which disrupts supply chain networks, which very seriously affects a series of different economic sectors, which eventually necessitates your business laying you off.

Imagine the FDA caught lying about drugs and medicines. Imagine the EPA getting politicized over the subject of climate change. Imagine the federal reserve giving bailouts to big banks after the 2008 housing crisis. Do a search for MK Ultra and read up on how the CIA experimented on US citizens. There's reasons the government, big business, and the people don't trust each other.

Mr. Ra watches the youtube channel Audit the Audit, and sees hundreds of videos of police interactions, and how badly the police mess up their jobs over and over again. Ra notices that in nearly every example of police misconduct, the problem is always the same; the officer allows his ego and emotions to get in the way of his judgment. Ra has a background in psychology, and wonders if he could be a good addition to the police force. He knows how to listen to people, how to de-escalate situations, and feels he could help improve the image of the police by being someone who won't let ego and anger get the better of him. So Mr. Ra applies to the police department. He passes every test, and is scheduled for his interview into the police academy. He'll be interviewed by 4 officers.

Mr. Ra shows up to the interview, and after a few introductory questions, is asked "what would you do if someone disrespects you?" Mr. Ra answers "I would respect their freedom of speech, as protected by the first amendment of the constitution." This answer is met with eye rolls. It's asked again by the officer, this time more aggressively: "What would you do if someone gets in your face??" Mr Ra, still confused why his last answer got such disapproval, says "I would ask him why they're in my face. Is someone in trouble? Is he angry about something?" This answer gets even more signs of contempt. Another officer asks "Yea but what if someone tries to insult you? What if someone starts talking down to you?" -- only with profanity liberally added into this question. Mr. Ra tries to bring up the constitution again, but is cut off mid-sentence; "What if someone tries to spit on you?" Mr. Ra asks "Why did he spit on me?" The interview ends shortly thereafter, with a very confused Mr. Ra and four very disgusted police officers. He receives a text later stating his application would be rejected.

The above story actually happened. The police were not going to admit anyone into the academy who had the mindset of genuinely wanting to abide by the constitution and protect the rights of the individuals encountered on the job. They wanted 'tough-guy' responses from someone who's first answer to confrontational behavior is the indiscriminate use of force. Mr. Ra now fully understands the popular adage "the police are not your friend", and from that day forward, any and all trust with them was gone.

The takeaway here is that trust factors into the IGGRE formula. It doesn't replace it by any means; trust is when you can assume the formula will work without paying close attention to it. The less trust you have, the more conscious you'll need to be of the formula. I can still get milk from the shopkeeper in a low trust situation, we just both have to look at the incentives, goals, rules, and most importantly enforcement, more closely. Can you trust the government? No? Then you'll need to pay attention to IGGRE. What is the government's incentives for following the rules? What is the enforcement? Remember, you need both.

How do you increase societal trust? You can't. It's like the weather; it will come and go. Economic, social, cultural, and political factors raise or lower trust across time and across different areas. In the 1950s and 60s, people in the US could reliably trust each other, and hitchhiking was still a thing. Today, the person driving the car will think the hitchhiker could be a serial killer. The hitchhiker will think the person in the car could be a serial killer. But who knows, fifty years from now, it might be the way it was fifty years ago.

How do you increase personal trust? Become a good K'vidian so that your life is completely straightened out, then establish a firm relationship with the people around you. Those who show themselves unable or unwilling to reciprocate or cooperate should be handled only using the IGGRE formula. Look closely at what enforcement there is, because without it, you have no rules, and thus the game you want won't happen. Others will demonstrate reciprocity and cooperation. If they value your relationship and your contribution towards their goals, then you'll have some level of trust built with them. Trust always involves some level of risk. Under the right circumstances, a person may decide to take what they can get, and run. Like in our Trolley Problem example earlier, always have this possible outcome in mind, and be ready for it.

Relationships

In centuries past, relationships often had a pragmatic basis founded in survival. A woman needed a man because she did not have the physical strength or endurance needed to survive entirely on her own in the wilderness, especially if she found herself pregnant. Having a provider during this time ensured survival. Women who were not picky with who they slept with could get pregnant by a man who wouldn't stick around and help them survive. These women died. Women who were very picky and discerning found men who would stay with them during and after the pregnancy. These women survived, and their discerning behavior was passed down.

"Families" had social bonds that obligated members to help one another for similar reasons. People who share genetic material have a vested interest in caring for a member of their group who falls sick on the wild frontier, or in some other dangerous territory, especially before the advent of modern transportation and medicine. Monogamy was enforced because polyamourous societies meant only a few hyper-successful men took most of the women, and society became viciously unstable. None of these conditions exist anymore in the first world. Lamenting over how things used to be, or how they should be, is a question of idealism vs realism, and is a topic that will be covered later on.

However, women now have multiple social services and laws that serve them. They don't need long term relationships with men. Men now have access to porn and hook up apps. They don't need long term relationships with women. An individual can work a job and afford his own apartment, and no longer needs family members to rush to his aid. And society is kept stable by modern economic forces that no longer need enforced monogamy.

This brave new world needs an updated way of understanding relationships. In the following general guidelines, "relationship" refers to all forms of relationship between free and independent adults absent of any mental disabilities.

-- All relationships are conditional. That is, they start or stop due to predictable conditions that may or may not be within your control. If you find yourself developing emotional bonds with someone, it's only because they display certain physical, emotional, or character traits that you find valuable. If they did not display those traits, or stopped displaying them, your feelings for them would change.

-- The effort put into holding onto a relationship should not exceed the benefit received from the relationship. Make sure you're using a 5D map on this one, and not cutting people off the moment they stop being entertaining. It is not a productive use of time to keep a relationship going for it's own sake, or simply because it lasted for a stretch of time. If you and your best friend graduate high school and go to different colleges, you're probably going to lose touch, and that's okay. Men and women marry, then have kids, and when the kids graduate high school and leave home, the man and woman may have become two very different people. Amicably leaving on good terms is better than enduring silent desperation.

-- When a relationship ends, let it end. There's no sense in being resentful or spiteful. Keep the memories, learn the lessons, grow as a person, and move on.

-- All relationships should start with the end being considered. "What happens if this doesn't work out?" Some can last a lifetime, but so few of them do, that it's not helpful to go out of your way to make that happen. Relationships are like a whirlpool in a draining bathtub: the whirlpool stays where it is, but the water that makes it happen keeps changing.

-- Have a contingency if the relationship ends in three days, three weeks, or three months out, and do not ever be led to think the relationship cannot end. "Loyalty" is a concept that's only reliable if the IGGRE formula is well calibrated, and "love" is a feeling that can change from day to day.

-- No one is obligated to anyone else. You may choose to help someone in their time of need, but without trust, or IGGRE, its fallacious to expect help in return later on because you helped them previously. Game Analogy advises playing the game of life while taking into account other people's bad moves.

-- Focus on maximizing relationships. Begin working towards short, medium, and long term goals, even if the goal is entirely experiential in nature, bearing in mind that relationships may end at any time for any reason. Plan for the best, be ready for the worst. Skill is needed to make advancement happen without also contributing to the early end of the relationship (or coming off as needy or desperate.) Remember to aim for a tier 1 outcome, and integrate into yourself the seven virtues.

Friendships

To establish a friendship, four things are needed. If all four are present, the friendship usually happens on it's own, without any effort. If any of the four are removed, the friendship ends. They are:

1) Means of Proximity

You need some way of staying in touch, or having regular contact. The reason the kid next door to you growing up was your best friend is because he was the kid next door, not because he was somehow inherently special. If he moves away, you will lose contact, and eventually the friendship ends. If someone else comes into proximity, and the conditions listed here are met, then the new person becomes your friend.

2) Values / interests

If you value having a very clean house with everything put away, and your roommate, well... doesn't, then you're not going to get along. If you value knowing how others feel, and then proceeding with a person-centered solutions, while your coworker just wants to get the job done regardless of how anyone feels, once again, probably you're not going to end up being friends. Then again if you simply have nothing in common, or no shared interests, it's unlikely that you'll ever have any sort of meaningful connection that facilitates the building of a friendship.

3) Behavioral compatibility

This one's a bit more subtle than the second category. If your roommate rustles his hands through a bag of potato chips while you're trying to watch a movie, tells jokes and then immediately laughs at the joke he just told, or constantly asks you prying questions about how your day went, then what you're dealing with is a serious lack of behavioral compatibility. Another way of saying this is that your roommate is extremely annoying. Of course your roommate might say that you're extremely uptight and need to relax. Either way, you're not going to be friends.

4) Boundaries and expectations

This is perhaps the most sophisticated factor to consider. Boundaries are restrictions, or things you cannot do, if we're going to remain on friendly terms. You can't walk into my room whenever it suits you without knocking. You can't go through my phone when I'm not looking. These are obvious, but what about a roommate or coworker who feels the need to engage with you each and every time you pass by each other? Engagement that happens this frequently would be crossing a boundary, though it's a boundary that most people would already know if they were properly socialized as children, and not something usually discussed and agreed on out loud. A lot of boundaries are assumed. Expectations are obligations, or things you must do. If I'm speaking, I expect you to show that you're listening and not looking at your phone. If you agree to meet up at a certain time, I expect that you'll follow through and be there at the time we agreed on. Again, there are a lot of expectations that are assumed.

You may also decide on a life strategy that involves not having any friends. Remember IGGRE -- this applies to literally all interactions between all people. Lets say you need someone to come help you move furniture this coming Wednesday (and it's currently Thursday), so you ask your friends if they'll help. You contact five, because you've done this before, and you know how people love to agree, but then won't follow through. By Friday, one of them informs you he can't make it. By Monday, another says he can't. And by Wednesday, the other three just don't show up at all and only one even bothered sending you a text that morning saying he couldn't make it because of this, that, or the other. Remember the Trolley Problem from above -- go ahead and assume you won't be helped ahead of time, and ask yourself what enforcement and incentive you have regarding the expectation that they show up. If you offered each one 50 dollars, then they'd show up for sure. But then you could pay anyone 50 dollars and they'd show up, friendship or not. So what is the point of bothering with friendships? In this day and age, it's a perfectly valid strategy to simply skip having friends. You may even find that life moves much quicker when you don't need to consider other people's expectations, or deal with their drama games.

In Regards to Family

I'd like you to consider the following. Imagine the "roommate from hell".

Even though you pay half the rent, your roommate thinks he owns everything in the apartment you share, and he lets you know it. He drops his stuff all around your work area, but makes a huge fuss anytime he finds anything of yours out of place. He sits in front of the TV 24 hours a day, volume turned all the way up, and no, you can't have the remote, and no, he's not changing the channel, or even turning the TV down. He passes by your laptop when you leave it open, reads your online chats and emails, but hey it's okay because he didn't actually touch your laptop. Also he has some advice for you based on that little part he read. He knows your life better than you do and it's your fault your life is like this because you're just not listening to him. There's tons of other stuff this guy is doing but let's leave it here for now.

Next, imagine you share 0.01% more DNA with this guy than you do with a complete stranger, and for that reason and that reason only, you're obligated to not only put up with this, but to keep putting up with it, all year round, with a smile on your face the whole time.

This. Makes. No. Sense.

Why on earth would any sane person tolerate such horrible behavior? Well, "because he's family". But let's spend half a minute thinking about this.

Family, for the majority of our species' history on this planet, actually did mean something, primarily because the world was a very dangerous place where people easily died all the time. In the 1800s, medical science was only getting started. Prior to 1800 it was virtually non-existent. A mosquito bite could kill you if it had malaria. In such an environment, you need a small group of people who will help save you're life if you're in danger, or terribly sick (which could happen at any time.) It makes sense for "family" to be that small group of people since they want their genetics and DNA to pass into the next generation, and helping family survive allows that to happen. It's also likely that your family members will be the people in closest proximity to you, as travel wasn't nearly as easy centuries ago. However, today, life is comfortable and sterile, and if I'm ever in danger, I just dial 911 and I have massive government services that will immediately respond to protect and help me. If I work a decent job, I can afford food, and I don't need to rely on cousin Billy to grow enough wheat for us to survive. I can pay rent, and I don't need Uncle Joe to cut down trees and build a cabin for us. Like it or not, family just isn't a necessity anymore.

If you have toxic family members (there doesn't really need to be an "if" - you most likely have toxic family members), you do not owe them anything. You have in your body a few hydrogen and carbon atoms that are arbitrarily arranged in a unique pattern, called DNA. And because you share a slightly similar pattern of these atoms with this other person, you believe you have to tolerate their abuse?

Someone might object, saying "family means more than DNA, it's the people who love you, raised you, and took care of you". But that's not true at all. Our country has hundreds of "families" where the mother and father beat the living tar out of their children and abuse them in every way imaginable. Or perhaps abuse didn't happen, but your parents turned on a TV, gave you a smartphone, then went and did their own thing. Being family has absolutely nothing to do with whether someone loves you or not. And if someone genuinely does love you and supports you, but they're not genetically related to you, then how are they not on the same level as "family" regardless if they share your DNA? Perhaps your friends are your "true family". But they're only your friends because of the four elements laid out earlier, and IGGRE still applies. If this true family of yours loses contact, or starts violating boundaries and expectations, they'll be demoted to "just friends". And if the elements needed for friendship continue to vanish, this true family also vanishes, and becomes someone you used to know. None of this changes purely because you share DNA with someone -- in fact, if anything, people who are genetically related are often more likely to think that just because they are related, they don't have to observe boundaries, and thus be more abusive or intrusive. Finally, people change with time, and no matter how strongly you both feel now, even people you call family can grow apart. Nothing is permanent.

Dating

The dynamics between men and women have become extremely confused in recent years. Feminism has produced quite possibly the most amount of damage to the relationship between men and women than any other single factor in history. When the word "Feminism" is used here, we're not talking about women having the right to vote (first wave feminism), or even that women should have access to equal opportunity and equal pay (second wave feminism.) We're talking about the form of feminism that became a belief system (primarily, the third wave), and soon thereafter, began to possess its followers. Some exploration of this concept will be needed, because the confusion it has caused serves as our starting point for where we see ourselves at the time of this writing.

Any feminists that made it this far are invited to pick up their laptops or other devices, and prepare to throw them across the room immediately after you read this next sentence.

Men and women are not equal.

We are very, very different, physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. Ask yourself why, throughout all history, there was never a march for women's rights, or droves of women demanding equality, until the industrial revolution. It's because survival in the world, all throughout human history, required men's strength, endurance, pain tolerance, and propensity to take risks. These qualities were utterly essential in the ancient world, whereas today they're so nonessential that it's difficult to find a time or place where any of these qualities can even be used. And since today's world is all our current generation has ever known, they tend to judge all of history through the lens of the comfort and luxury they currently enjoy.

For example, people today have never been on a sailing ship for the necessity of transporting goods from England to India, or out at sea for months at a time, and so they have no idea of the rigors that such an existence demanded. Yet they're totally convinced the only reason women weren't allowed on voyages is because they were oppressed. They've never had to take an ax and cut down trees to build a log cabin, then use muskets to hunt animals for food either. Yet they're again convinced that women didn't do these things only because men were mean and brutish and just wouldn't let them. After all, anything a man can do (in today's world), a woman can do too (because of machines and technology.) Cut down a tree? Dig a ditch? Carry bricks? Machines, trucks, and tractors can do all these things with just the pull of a few levers. So surely life on board a ship, or out on the wild frontier, especially given how fun it looks in Hollywood movies, could easily be done by any woman.

And while men had the qualities of masculinity that helped subdue the world and build the life of modernity that we now enjoy, what did women have? The ability to have children, and the ability to transform men.

It's been said that when a man want's corn, the tool he uses is a plow. When a woman wants corn, the tool she uses is a man. However, it doesn't end there. If that man feels deeply committed to that woman, he'll work to develop more than just corn -- he'll develop agriculture, irrigation, and crop rotation. Why is this?

In the same way that women evolved to be picky about what man they sleep with (because as we discussed earlier, their ancestors that didn't died), men evolved a deference to women, and a strong desire to answer their calls of distress. Imagine a cave with 5 men and 95 women. The next generation is definitely secure -- 5 men can get all those women pregnant. Now imagine a cave with 5 women and 95 men. Each woman needs 9 months of pregnancy, and also death during childbirth was common. The next generation is doomed. This means that biologically speaking, women are simply more valuable than men. The men that didn't understand this were not just more likely to die, they were more likely to have their entire tribes taken out.

It's okay if several men go out to hunt a mammoth, because we can lose several, and still be okay. If we lose women, we could seriously be in trouble. They simply aren't as strong, and needed men to protect them -- and men also evolved to have a very great satisfaction in providing and protecting their women. Men built a world where a woman virtually never has to worry about her safety, and it's in this incredible luxury that feminists now reclassify men's vestigial desire to provide and protect as some kind of "sexism".

Why are we covering this? Because masculinity and femininity are inescapable realities of life. They fit into a person's psychological composition, the same way personality, values, and drives do, and absolutely influence what sort of belief systems get created, and thus what sort of games men and women are likely to play. One very easy example is cat-calling. Imagine a man walking by a construction site filled with women workers, who then start whistling at him and making remarks on his body. That man will not only enjoy that experience, he will be telling stories about it in the old folks home when he's 87 and in a rocking chair. He'll never forget that glorious day when women were cat calling him. Now reverse the roles -- a woman walks by a construction site and the same exact thing happens to her. She's going to feel filthy, dirty, threatened, and rush off to her social media accounts to post about how she was almost raped. If the differences between men and women were only "socially conditioned", and gender was nothing more than a "social performance", then why isn't society telling women to simply enjoy cat calling the way men would? After all, isn't their fear and aversion only a product of social conditioning? Sure, the men whistling at the woman is a learned behavior, but so is the negative feelings the woman has about being whistled at. The reason women aren't told this is because on a deeper level, we all know that none of this is socially conditioned -- there is something inherent and unique about being a woman that is biological in nature, that was shaped by millions of years of evolution (or creation, if you prefer, the answer is the same), and women can't simply turn any of that off because it's not simply learned behavior. Differences like these point to very serious differences in the biology and psychology of men and women, and thus different belief systems, and different games that get played. And yet we can't acknowledge this unless we also acknowledge that we just plain are not equal.

Then there's the idea that if we acknowledge any of the above, and accept that men and women are not equal because they're simply too different, then we run the risk of women being told to "go back to the kitchen". Except women were never, ever, at any time in history, in the kitchen purely because men said so. Remember there was never a march for women's rights until life became civilized and easy enough for women to leave the kitchen without being mauled by a wild animal, killed by roving bandits, or faint from the strain of physical work under a hot sun before the advent of sunscreen or mosquito repellent. When work involved pulling levers in air conditioned factories, that's when women petitioned for equal rights. And then they won equal rights -- not because they're equal, but because the world has changed in ways that warranted equal participation in the job market.

The concept of "equal rights" or even "human rights" is not scientific, and has no data or evidence backing it up.  Remember what we covered earlier about belief systems, because these concepts listed here are simply part of a belief system.  The right question to is whether these are functional, maladaptive, or non-functional.  Consider that the US government taxes all income women earn, all property they own, and taxes all money they spend.  Now consider how much money the US government would lose from it's 16 trillion dollar GDP if all women suddenly went "back to the kitchen".  In other words, it would not matter if every single man, woman, and child, all believed women are not equal to men; nothing at all would change about their rights or their place in the economy.  Employers are not going to collectively agree to lose millions just to send all their female workers home.  On the other hand, if the factories and electricity that facilitated this modern way of life disappeared tomorrow, it would not matter if every single man, woman, and child all believed, and repeated as a mantra, that men and women are exactly the same in every conceivable way; within a year, women would (willingly, by their own choice) be back in the kitchen.  Then immediately leave the kitchen and go right back to public life, screaming about how equal they are, if somehow factories and electricity came back the following year after that.  Although their return to the workforce would be "functional", because it means everyone is better off, and the truth, facts, and evidence of equality plain does not matter. 

None of this is sexist, misogynist, chauvinist, or even slightly wrong. It's also why women were never viewed as "second class citizens". That's feminist revisionism (which is just another game.) Men will not risk their lives to rescue second class citizens, or spend 15 minutes working up the courage to go talk to a second class citizen, or work extra hours at a brutal job and willingly hand over the money he's worked for to provide for a second class citizen. Moreover, women have the power to shape society in a way that men do not. Women have the power to bring life into the world, and turn boys into men. They were the reason barbarians become statesmen. They're half the reason men worked to build society from the stone age into the modern world.

Differences between Masculinity and Femininity

In terms of what men and women want intimately, a man's fantasy is typically to be intimate with numerous women, a woman's fantasy involves ability to grab the attention of a man, and change him. In the book "A Billion Wicked Thoughts", researchers Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam analyzed roughly a billion internet porn searches from men and from women to determine what each typically fantasized about.

Unsurprisingly, it turns out that men are visually stimulated, and women are emotionally stimulated.

Men are interested in big breasts and big hips because these are signs of fertility. Levels of gynoid fat in breasts are correlated with a woman's level of reproductive potential; both the chances of getting pregnant, and the chances of having healthy children. Bigger hips mean a better chance of successfully giving birth. Men are not necessarily attracted to thin women, because men are attracted to "thick" women as well. But they're called "thick", and not "fat". Why? Hip to waist ratio: small waist and big hips are what matter, and usually, when a woman loses weight, this ratio is accentuated. Red cheeks and red lips indicate a healthy circulatory and immune system -- both very important in fertility. A study titled "Eye Size Affects Cuteness in Different Facial Expressions and Ages", by Lichang Yao et. al, discovered something everyone already knew -- that larger eyes mean a higher degree of "cuteness", and that positive emotional expression combined with larger eyes is even cuter. This is why women wear eye-liner; it increases the eye-to-face ratio in favor of cuteness, which combines with all the other visual cues listed here and grants control over a man's attention.

None of this is "socially constructed", "socially conditioned", "programmed", "taught", "trained", "learned", or any other word or phrase meant to dismiss biological reality in favor of a promised Utopia where no one ever has to come in second place. It's a harsh reality that some women have won the genetic lottery, and are stunningly beautiful without trying, while other women, well... aren't.

All of the above listed items are tied to either signs of fertility and having children, or being cute, which brings forth additional desire from a man to protect and provide. Notice that "intelligence" and "capability" are not listed. Yes, of course, in a world of 8 billion people, there will be a handful of men who are turned on by intelligence in a woman. There's always exceptions. But the vast majority of men are going to be attracted to signs of fertility as described above. A woman can be intelligent and witty, but it's probably not going to help in terms of attraction, unless you find a guy who just happens to be attracted to those things.

Before we go into women's interests, we should talk about "The Excuse of One" and "Double Corner". These are both irritating little games that are often played by people on the political left, especially feminists.

The Excuse of One

When you make a statement about either men or women that is statistically true, and based on biology, the feminist will point to an example that she just thought up in her head that doesn't fit that statement, then claim the statement is refuted, and men and women should be treated without any consideration of differences (except, conveniently, where the feminist says otherwise.) An example might be that on any given construction site, it's men who are busting concrete and carrying sandbags. The Excuse of One happens when the feminist poses a hypothetical Brunhilde, from Norway, who's 6 foot tall and can bend steel. "A woman can do that too!" Because of course there probably does exist, somewhere in the world, a woman fitting that description, who absolutely can do a man's work. The next thing that follows is that all women should be treated as if they can do everything a man can do, because the one woman in my imagination possibly could. Except, no, the vast majority of women are not hulking massive Valkyries who enjoy grueling physical labor. The same can work in reverse; most professions that involve childcare or human resources are populated by women. The Excuse of One would happen by imagining one single man who enjoys doing those things, then making a claim that all men are exactly the same as women, and there are no differences, because one single man could be that way.

The same game is played when asking "What is a Woman". Every time a definition is given, the other side will just say "what about a woman who doesn't have ____" (the exact definition you laid out.) You could of course play this game with almost anything. What is a human? Okay, what about a human who doesn't have those exact things? What is a house? Okay, what about a house that doesn't have those exact things?

Double Corner

In checkers, double corner is when you have only one piece remaining on the board, so you take the piece to one of the corners of the board that has two squares, and move back and forth between the squares in an attempt to make your opponent give up. The name fits perfectly for this game, since it does involve having only one single piece left, and no other choices but to avoid losing by just going back and forth.

Feminists will say women are oppressed, and point to facts and evidence. When the facts and evidence are examined and showed to be false or dubious, the feminists will straightaway start appealing to her true, personal story, of being oppressed, and experiencing terrible things. When the other side tries the exact same tactic -- "men also experience such things" -- the feminist will say that's not true. Why? Because the facts and evidence say otherwise. When the facts and evidence being referenced again don't hold up to scrutiny, the feminists goes back to claiming validation and being right through her personal experiences (this time, often accusing you of why you don't care about her terrible experiences and why you're being so mean.) You could follow this again with your own personal story of this that or the other, and the feminist will immediately dismiss your story by saying it doesn't align with the facts and evidence. This differs from "Moving the Goalpost" in that you're not adding new demands each time your argument is answered. You're abandoning the evidence-based arguments and going to personal-experience arguments, then going back to evidence-based arguments, and switching back and forth.

Before moving on, it should be pointed out that while men come up with ideas and solutions, it's women who will challenge those ideas and solutions. This is an inherent aspect of femininity. Women have to test men to see if they're truly worthy, if they really have things figured out, and if they can handle the prodding with patience. If done correctly, this is exactly what makes men better. It helps tremendously to have a partner who knows how to challenge and test, but do so in a way that's helpful and productive, and not destructive or simply annoying. Women are looking for a man who can confidently answer and stand firm against scrutiny. It's a mistake to think that agreeing with everything a woman says will make her like you.

The following exchange shows a common approach to the above games, and the feminine propensity to challenge and test men.

Man: "Mass shooters are disproportionately male"

Feminist: Yes that's right!

Man: "Rapists are disproportionately male"

Feminist: Exactly.

Man: "Murderers are disproportionately male."

Feminist: Preach it.

Man: "Inventors and explorers are dispro--"

Feminist: NOT FAIR! WOMEN CAN DO THAT TOO!!!

Man: "Cures for diseases were discovered disproportionately by --"

Feminist: ONLY BECAUSE WOMEN WEREN'T ALLOWED!!!

Man: "Nearly all monuments and cities were built by --"

Feminist: BECAUSE WOMEN WERE TOO BUSY BEING OPPRESSED!

Man: "Carjackings are done disproportionately by males"

Feminist: Yes.

Man: "Money laundering is committed disproportionately by males.

Feminist: Right.

"Space travel is disproportionately undertaken by --"

Feminist: BUT WOMEN CAN DO THAT TOO!!!

Such an exchange illustrates several things.

-- Masculinity causes men to go to extremes, and that means either extreme good or extreme bad. That's why men are on the far ends of both good and bad.

-- The proper role of the feminine is to shape men towards the good and coax them away from what's bad.  Men love and appreciate women who can do this, and women love and appreciate a man who uses his masculinity to make everyone better off.

-- Imagine a man being told all his life that every good thing he does could have been done by a woman, and every bad thing he does is done because he's a man. Such a man might think it's better that he stop being a man, especially if this is communicated to him his entire life. The transgender movement has many origins. None of them are founded on any sort of science or empirical data.

What Women Want

Men's interests are pretty straightforward, because they are visually stimulated by signs of female fertility. Women's interests are not straightforward at all, because they are emotionally stimulated by concepts centered around masculinity. According to the book A Billion Wicked Thoughts, women commonly fantasize about "Doctor, Cowboy, Boss, Prince, Rancher, Knight, Surgeon, King, Bodyguard, Sheriff" -- and later in the book, there's an explanation for why women fantasize about werewolves and vampires (like Twilight.) Make any sense? Are you able to spot the common thread between all these things? Should you dress up like a cowboy before heading out next weekend?

The common thread between all these vocations is that they are all representations of masculinity. A discussion on what masculinity is and how it works is the best way to talk about what women want.

Lets first make it clear: The vast majority of women are attracted to "masculinity". Even lesbian women are attracted to masculinity, as they date other women who look and act just like men (showing that masculinity is not the same thing as "maleness". They are related, but separate.) Masculinity is definite and recognizable (it does not change based on whether a man decides to express it or not), and includes, but is not necessarily limited to: ambition, diligence, assertiveness, aggression, control, confidence, low neuroticism (greater emotional stability that is less affected by external stimuli), objectively centered thinking (as opposed to emotional / empathetic thinking), and risk taking. It's a short list, because many other traits are often a combination of the traits shown here (courage is risk-taking + confidence, dominance is a kind of aggression + control). When women experience these things in their interactions with a man (provided the interactions are done the right way), it causes emotional stimulation.

The idea of "non-binary" comes from the notion that a man could have more or less of all these traits, and the less of these traits a man has, the less masculine he is and therefore the more feminine he is. The flaw here is believing that being less masculine makes you more feminine. It doesn't. Men and women are not opposites on one pole, they are two different things entirely. Femininity involves emotional empathy. Having less confidence, less control, and being less capable overall does not automatically make you empathetic or compassionate, it just makes you pathetic. Having less of the traits needed to be a successful man does not mean you now have the traits of a successful woman. As such, gender is definitely a binary (men and women), but is not a scale where the less you have of one, the more you have of another. You can be more or less masculine, but you don't stop being male, or start being female, simply for not expressing or wanting to express masculine traits.

The Excuse of One will undoubtedly make an appearance here: "What about a woman who's ambitious, diligent, assertive, etc?" The answer is that if you took a million men, and a million women, and left them alone, the men would overwhelmingly display these traits (masculinity) often, and the women would display other traits (femininity) often, due to biology and evolution. Just because one person does or doesn't follow masculine or feminine traits does not mean the vast majority of the world deviates completely at random, and any conformity is purely socially conditioned or taught. A man who isn't masculine doesn't become feminine by default, but he could possibly develop feminine traits (become caring or compassionate.) A woman who isn't feminine doesn't automatically become masculine, but she may develop masculinity.

To address "toxic masculinity" is simple. The masculine traits listed above could all be used to start a business, defend one's country, or serve one's community, and all of these would be considered valuable to have in a man. Toxic masculinity then, is when these traits are used to motivate someone towards something harmful or destructive, such as destroying property, breaking the law, or physically harming others. A woman who has been traumatized by men, especially through her childhood, has a psychological propensity to see all masculinity as toxic.  A woman who has been neglected (no positive male role model in her life) is likely to be attracted to any sign of masculinity, toxic or positive, because she's unable to discern between them.

Toxic femininity works in the exact same fashion. Loosely speaking, feminine traits are acceptance, supportiveness, agreeableness, compassion, high neuroticism (greater emotional sensitivity that is more affected by external stimuli), emotionally centered thinking (as opposed to objectively centered), and friendliness. Generally, these are all things men find attractive, and what they look for in a long term relationship with women. Using these traits for swindling, backstabbing, or betrayal is toxic femininity. "Testing" is a kind of game for when a woman tests a man's resolve by acting bratty or ridiculous, can also be called toxic, as an emotionally intelligent and mature woman who knows how to communicate properly will find more constructive ways to test a man's integrity. Unfortunately, testing is a game that men may frequently encounter. There are plenty of guides explaining how to handle such tests, should you decide to continue pursuing a woman after you run into the toxic version of this.  Just remember that I G G R E should always be considered first.

So to reiterate, women are attracted to masculinity, and it brings about emotional stimulation, which may be a surprise given how often masculinity is demonized in the mainstream media -- but keep in mind, that's just a game, and product of the feminist narrative.

Another very key component is how masculinity is styled. Consider the following.

The chubby guy at a party who's gregarious and cracking jokes in front of everyone is displaying plenty of confidence and risk-taking. Humor does involve a degree of intelligence and wit (a kind of objective thinking, as you're finding relationships between two seemingly unrelated concepts, or pointing out nuances that everyone notices but never articulates). It's risk-taking because you could easily come off as offensive, and the crowd might not accept you.

The guy on the back of the Harley wearing a black leather jacket is also displaying masculine qualities, like confidence, control, and low neuroticism (able to play it cool).

The guy in a business suit and brief case pocketing the keys to his Aston-Martin is also masculine, but again, it's styled very differently.

All three of the above examples have the ability to bring some form of emotional stimulation to a woman though the expressions of their masculinity.

Understanding how masculinity can be styled differently clears up a huge swath of confusion on this subject. A lot of young men dislike the concept of "alpha male" because it conjures to mind some bull-headed giant tough-guy who pushes his way through everyone else and stomps his way to success. That's only one style of masculinity. Einstein and Arnold Schwarzenegger are both very masculine, just in different ways. If one style isn't for you, there are lots of other styles. Remember, there are lots of ways to express ambition, diligence, assertiveness, aggression, control, confidence, and so on. Only a handful of styles involve shouting, demanding, and intimidation tactics. Japanese Samurai will sit at rest until action is needed, then quietly, yet fiercely, take care of the problem; this is definitely loading onto the "control" aspect of masculinity, in this case control over the self and of emotions. "Mastering others is strength, but mastering yourself is true power."

It also hopefully makes clear why women fantasize about cowboys, knights, kings, and the other vocations listed earlier. Ambition, aggression, control, confidence, and risk taking are all part of what such characters are about. Men also have daydreams about being in such roles; even the men who claim masculinity is inherently toxic.

Because style of masculine expression matters a lot, no matter how successful or masculine you are, you will almost always still experience some level of rejection. Your style of expression might not fit perfectly with the type of women you're after. The pickup artist you see demonstrating their skills on youtube in a night club are extremely unlikely to be effective speaking to women at church on Sunday. The black leather biker fella who dropped out of high school is probably not going to do well at a business networking event with mostly entrepreneurial women in attendance. All women are emotionally stimulated by masculinity (please no Excuse of One arguments), though each woman will want a different style.

As such, if you're unsuccessful with women, it may very well be that you're not doing a single thing wrong, but you're "fishing in the wrong pond", as it were.

The style a man naturally gravitates toward comes greatly from their personality and life experience, so it may not be worthwhile to try changing this. If you're a man of God and love your country, and have high moral standards, you can't suddenly change all that at will, just to improve your luck with a good looking girl at a dive bar who's interested in a man of lesser moral fiber. The description given earlier of a man in a business suit driving an Aston-Martin hopefully conjured to mind a familiar hypothetical, but such a person is still who they are, with or without the suit and car. For men, what you change is not your style, but how well developed your masculine behavior and expressions are. Then you find the kind of women who are interested in your particular style of expression.

It should be evident by now that there are many possible styles to masculinity.  Because it can be styled in so many ways, a confused leftists will claim that masculinity doesn't have to fit a mold, and can be anything you want it to be.  This is not true -- beneath the styles, masculinity absolutely does have a known definition, or set of traits, like we discussed earlier. 

"Just be yourself" refers to style, not the degree of masculinity, and that's an important distinction. The level of masculinity you convey is generally what changes, and should not stay the same under the guise of "just be yourself".

What women want is definitely more complicated than what men want. It's difficult, but not impossible, to understand.

Communicating the Masculine:

Now we've covered what masculinity is, that it can be used for right or wrong, and that this is what women are generally attracted to provided the style is right. The final piece seems to be how masculinity is "communicated". Lets cover that next.

Communication is layered. It's possible to say one thing, but mean another thing, and then have another layer of meaning below that. One example is to look at someone, use an extremely bored face, and with a monotone depressed-sounding somewhat-sarcastic voice, and say "I love you". People generally laugh when this is demonstrated, because the example perfectly communicates the point. I'm saying one thing on the surface, but I'm communicating the exact opposite just underneath that.

We'll call the surface layer what you're "saying", and the layer below that what you're "communicating".

So when you say "Let's have coffee", you're communicating "I'm friendly and available". When you say "I like connecting with people" you're communicating "I'm a normal person and not a psychopath".

Let's look at an example we could improve upon.

When you say "I drive a Ford", you're communicating "I'm actually pretty boring".

When you say "I drive one of those Fix Or Repair Daily's", you're communicating that you're fun, witty, and will keep the person interested.

It's about communicating -- not simply speaking -- and doing so in a way that elicits interest and stirs emotions. Literally ALL pick-up methods, of which there are plenty to choose from, come back to grabbing interest and provoking an emotional response or investment through the expression of some style of masculinity. Patrice O'Neil of the Anthony and Opie radio show once explained how he would walk up to a woman and directly insult her, perhaps with something like "Your hair is a complete mess, why would you leave the house like that?" The woman would get defensive and immediately fire back with something. Patrice would then change his whole demeanor, and say "look, I'm sorry", and become apologetic. The woman would then take on a more forgiving demeanor. In less than a minute, Patrice has taken control of the woman's emotions, and sent her from a place of negativity to a place of forgiveness. A short while later, he could get her number, and easily continue on from there, taking things as far as he wanted. Showing that you have the ability to stimulate a woman's emotions easily and effortlessly, and do it with confidence, will make a woman think constantly about you. A woman can become a K'vidist, read this, understand it completely, and it will still be true. The feminine is attracted to the masculine, and no amount of knowing or learning will change that.

Another extremely important key is that only around 7 to 10% of communication comes down to actual words. Around 35% is tone and expression, and 55% is body language. The more relaxed and confident you feel, the more you can naturally assume the right kind of posture and tone.

Now if you look at all the most successful dating profiles, you'll see that they communicate far more than they say. So the trick is to communicate, not just say, who you are, and have that align with your STYLE of masculinity (being yourself).

A rather large and important side note is that none of this matters for very long. After a relationship extends beyond a few weeks, the question of the relationship changes from "are you interesting" to "are we compatible" -- at which point, you begin playing an entirely different game. This is why you don't need to keep impressing your wife / husband the same way you did when you were first dating, and why you certainly wouldn't go on a first date with the same attitude as having been married for 10 years (in fact that sounds like a good idea for a comedy skit). This might also explain why some men are great at picking up women but terrible at relationships. They are two separate games.

In summary, the most commonly advised dating techniques involve communicating effectively your style of masculinity to women. Show that you're independent, empowered, ambitious, self-assured, or basically the opposite of "needy" and "fragile", and that you can stimulate and arouse a woman's emotional interest. Every advice guide you can find on the subject (that isn't blatantly ignorant drivel) will suggest approaches which are all based on these basic principles. Once masculinity has been demonstrated in a way that's interesting to her, offer her to join you for more of that experience. If done right, it can still easily fail, as the question of "style" or "type" then become the deciding factors.

And if you're a woman? Be pretty, fun, and feminine. That's it. Men's interests are much more straightforward. You don't need to be "strong and independent". Most men aren't attracted to strength, as that's a masculine trait. They're not attracted to independence either, that's also a masculine trait. And again, please no "Excuse of One".

As a man, try to focus on expressing any one, or combination of the following in your behavior and communications.

-- I am ambitious, and / or independent.

-- I am high energy, and capable.

-- I endorse "success" hierarchy, rather than "dominance" hierarchy (true alpha rather than merely "acting" alpha, which we'll cover a bit later.)

-- Occasional statements that show a funny / witty style.

-- Be well spoken and knowledgeable. While intelligence doesn't tend to make women more attractive, it definitely makes men more attractive.  Please be honest with yourself, and don't try this approach unless intelligence is genuinely a trait that you have.

-- Ability to approach high-risk situations while remaining cool-headed. The very act of approaching a woman and talking to her is a kind of risk-taking, since rejection is a possibility.

-- Confidence that you can handle adversity well, whether it's from a situation, or from another person.

Avoid saying anything:

-- Superfluous, or does not communicate anything impactful. Don't drone on and on about the new spark plugs you got for your truck.

-- That is boring, like purely factual information not styled so that it also communicates masculinity

-- Anything that reveals insecurity or self-deprecation.

Now you may hear women say they're attracted to a man who's "sensitive", and that might be confusing considering what we've covered so far.  In this context, sensitive does not mean a man who outwardly expresses whatever emotion he happens to feel at the moment.  This is a lack of control, which is a masculine trait, and will hence be very unattractive.  Instead, sensitive in this context means being able to "read" the woman.  Women signal, and men read.  Sensitive means you can tell by the look on her face that she's bothered by something.  Or if you place your hand on hers, and she stiffens up, you can take your hand away because you're able to read that she's not comfortable with that.  You can tell by her face if she's interested or bored with what you're saying.  This demonstrates a very high degree of perceptiveness, which is something else women look for in men.

Categorizing Levels of Masculine Expression

A better representative model of masculinity and dating looks something like:

|.............masculinity..............|

....\................................../......

.......|.style of masculinity.|........

..........\......................../..........

..............|.interaction.|..............

................\............./..............

..................|details|..............

Masculinity:

This is a set of inherited behavioral traits statistically far more likely to show up in those who are born male: confidence, risk taking, ambition, dominance, control, objectivity, etc. You can face rejection at this level for not exuding enough masculinity, or expressing anti-masculine traits such as neediness or clinginess.

Style of masculinity:

According to the census bureau, around 97% of the population is heterosexual (even if that were under-reported, and we doubled it, it's still around 94%). So we can assume over 9 out of 10 women are going to be attracted to masculinity, and as stated earlier, even lesbians like women who express masculinity. However, at the level of style, it gets more specific. Not all women are attracted to the same expression of masculinity. There's lots of different styles: the black leather jacket on the back of a Harley, the logical-minded scientists, the business CEO guy, etc. You can face rejection at this level because you're just not the right type that a woman is looking for.

Interaction:

If it weren't already complex enough, women are also looking for a specific kind of relationship. Think back to when we covered the concept of friendship: this level would include "behavioral compatibility" and "values and interests". Women want a guy that fits a particular style, but after that, they might want that guy to either help them through their career, or someone they can go camping with, or someone who will help them start a family -- which are all examples of interactions. 

Details:

Interspersed through the entire experience, women are also looking for details in each of the above levels. On some subconscious level, they're looking for certain behaviors and traits that they may not even be aware of. How long do you remain quiet while they speak? How do you react to certain things they say? Do you look at them while they speak or look away silently while you listen? How tall are you? The sound of your voice, etc. This part you have no control over and shouldn't worry about. This makes dating necessarily a hit-or-miss endeavor, so you will likely face rejection a good number of times no matter how good you are. Your ability to handle rejection is an aspect of maturity, which is a virtue we covered earlier.

A man should focus the majority of his effort on the first level, some effort on the second level, leave the third level as an afterthought, and not worry at all about the fourth level. Simply put, become the best type of man you can personally be by improving yourself, and learning to communicate your masculine side. Express this in a way that works for you (tough guy, science guy, business guy, etc). This way you're "being yourself", but you're expressing and conveying the masculine parts of yourself in all that you do.

Not expressing this side of you is like going to a job interview and just "being yourself" without expressing your willingness and interest in the job.

The reason why pick up artist are so successful seems to be that they figure out what kind of man they are, and figure out the best way to express it, then go to the areas where women are likely to want THAT type of guy. You can see plenty of videos of this online. The approach being used to pick up a shallow 20 year old girl in a bar who's ready and willing to make tons of bad life decisions is not the same approach that will work on an older woman in church, or at a business networking meetup.

Masculine and Feminine Skill

A word should be given to not just style of expression, but also skill.

A skillful man can "read" women, and a skillful woman will "signal" to men.  We touched on this earlier, but now we'll go into detail.

Imagine a man sits next to a woman. She doesn't look up at him. He asks how her day is going. She mumbles something, but keeps looking down at the table. She's very still, and her rate of breathing has increased. She's signaling that she's definitely not comfortable with this interaction. A man who isn't able to read what she's signaling may try to persist with the interaction, or think that he can get her to "lighten up" by telling jokes. A man who can read women clearly will see that she's uncomfortable and will say something like "you seem deep in thought / concerned about something. Maybe we'll talk later", then get up and walk away.

Now consider another man who's sitting next to a woman, and they've been talking for a while. The man's hand gradually finds it's way over to the woman's, and he starts holding her hand. Although she's extremely uncomfortable, she shows a big smile. The man rightly reads this as acceptance, because the woman is sending the wrong signals. Any outside observer would see this as a green light. The man then puts his arm around the woman, and this makes her feel almost panicked, but she continues smiling and appearing to have a good time. For this interaction to work, men have to be skilled at reading, but women also have to be skilled at signaling. If the woman is giving off the wrong signals, then it's going to be nearly impossible for even the most skilled men to know you're not comfortable. Unfortunately, this could escalate all the way up to acts of intimacy, which the woman will later claim happened against her will.

Just like with all other skills, the more you practice, the better you get. In the 1950s and 60s, casual dating would happen between teenagers, often with parents being present. This wasn't awkward or uncomfortable because societal enforcement was at a peak, belief in God and therefore internal enforcement was common, and everyone knew the rules. There were also great incentives involved for those who acted properly. In other words, there was a high level of societal trust (as we covered earlier.) All of this has fallen away, no one can agree on what the rules are (even trying to have conversations on this will be instantly shut down with accusations of sexism or misogyny), and as such, people enter into adulthood with almost no skills, because they had almost no practice either reading or signaling. And hookup culture tends to further ensure this practice will never happen.

To practice the skill of reading as a man, try closely watching women during your interactions with them. Become masculine, and express your style, then completely let go of the outcome and just watch the behavior. Take note of not just what gets said, but also how it gets said. If you care nothing for the outcome (think of detachment -- a virtue discussed earlier), then you won't feel the pressure of making the interaction go in a particular direction. At no point try to make anything happen; always express your style, and then just watch. Take note of what seems to work and what doesn't. You could even check in with a woman every now and then with genuine curiosity to see how they think and feel. This will help you refine your skills at reading, and also help you learn what style you're most comfortable with. You learn not only what works for women, you'll learn what works for you. Spend a few months doing this.

To practice the skill of signaling as a woman, find some men that you can spend time with who aren't interested in steering interactions towards intimacy, then be consciously aware of your behavior and how you express yourself. Deliberately signal discomfort or disapproval about something, and if it doesn't get picked up, escalate your expression. First use non-verbal cues, such as facial expression or body language, then gently hint with words, then be more direct with words, then be stern with words. Explore new and unique situations, and try to navigate through them gracefully by signaling and coaxing others to get the outcome you want.

There is some overlap; men can signal and women can read, but generally speaking, women are very good readers, and can pick up on social cues much easier than men. Men are very good signalers, and have a much easier time getting confrontational and saying exactly what they want to have happen. So you can practice the skills of the other gender, but only if you really need to.

In the same way that practicing any other skill can make you tired, this sort of practicing will also cause you to become tired. Don't expect that you can do this all the time, whether you're a man or a woman. Being deliberately conscious of your behavior and of the other person's behavior at all times will sharpen your skills, but also exhaust you. Practice for a few hours a day, a few times a week, the same as you would with anything else. Be consistent, and after a few months, your skill will have greatly improved.

Women want a man who can take control, but who can do so without making her feel smothered or belittled.  If a woman expresses an opinion and you disagree, you have a good level of skill if you can express your disagreement in a way that makes her more interested in you, and not be off-putting.  It's a mistake to simply agree with whatever a woman says, as this will come off as boring, and certainly not masculine (independent and confident.)  Telling her she's wrong, or citing off a list of facts and evidence, also isn't the best approach.  There's real skill involved in being able to strike the right balance, and to do so in a fluid way.  There's other small ways to express control, but again, they all need to be done with skill.  If you're at a restaurant, don't automatically start ordering for her.  Remember read her first!  Find out if she wants you to order for her.  You can't demonstrate control properly if you're not perceptive enough of the situation, and asking her directly if she wants you to order for her probably isn't the best way to find out.

Flirting is another skill.  This is when, for a brief moment, you express clear sexual interest in the other person, but do so in a way that's fun, exciting, or humorous.  One example might be to suddenly say "You know, you look a lot like my first wife".  When she says she didn't know you've been married, look at her and say "I haven't", then wink.  (For those who aren't getting it, you're suggesting that she could be your first wife.)  The skill here is finding little places in the conversation where you can drop a flirt, and once it's been done, move on and go back to the conversation like normal.  Not flirting at all can make the woman wonder if you're really interested in her, but doing it too much and lingering on it is also bad.  Flirting has been described like wearing perfume -- a little smells nice, but way too much is overpowering and off-putting. 

(For a moment, just imagine if the claims that men and women were the same, and that gender is only a social construct, were true.  Could you imagine going through this much work and using this level of skill in order to talk to another man?)

The concept of skill in games is something that extends far outside of dating, by the way. If you've ever read a book on how to successfully network your way into a better job, you're reading something that was written by a person who is extremely highly skilled at networking, and it may not be something you can replicate. It's like reading a book on how to shoot a basketball from the 3 point line written by Michael Jordan. It's one thing to read about it, it's another thing entirely to actually do it. Consider that Catherine the Great married the Czar of Russia, Peter III. And after several years of marriage, she had successfully built relationships with all of the top people in government, which allowed her to overthrow her husband and take complete control over Russia herself. On the other hand, Anne Boleyn was married to King Henry the VIII, and after just three years of marriage, she was beheaded. Why couldn't she have done what Catherine did? Partly because she simply didn't have the skills Catherine did -- not even to save her life. Catherine's social and relationship skills were very highly sophisticated. You may have met people like this before. They know how to enter a room, they know how to easily take control of conversations, they know how to influence people and convince others to do their bidding, or said another way, they "know how to sell snow to an Eskimo". You cannot master every skill of every game in life. Find a game you enjoy playing, that has a reasonable expectation of providing the kind of life you want, build your skills there, and know what your limits are. We'll talk more about skills in other games a bit later.

The Alpha Male

This is a popular term used in discussions of masculinity, especially as it applies to dating. In a Youtube video from Adam Ruins Everything titled "Alpha Males Do Not Exist", the titular character Adam does an amazing job at demonstrating a total and complete lack of knowledge on the subject, and does so with such confidence, that it brings to mind the Dunning-Kruger effect (though this applies to most of his videos.) It seems that many people are nearly as lost and confused on this topic, so here's the answer.

Remember, it doesn't matter if alpha-males were proven not to exist in wolves.  It also doesn't matter whether or not that was really Elvis's guitar.  The concept is functional.

Imagine 3 cavemen standing around a rock which has a banana on it. Each of them wants the banana.

The Beta Male caveman is hoping if he brings it back to his cave, that others will like him. He doesn't have the confidence to start conversations with other cavemen, and is hoping this will make others want to approach him. Or better yet, he'll give it to a cave-woman, and maybe she'll like him! You probably know several people like this. This guy is kinda pathetic. He stands there and politely, quietly, asks if it's okay to have the banana, because he kinda wants it, but it's okay if he can't have it, he'll understand. (After all, he's a nice guy!)

The Pseudo Alpha, or fake alpha, beats his chest, walks around with his arms cocked out to the side, giving steely eyed glares to others, and threatens that HE'S gonna take this banana. It belongs to him BECAUSE HE SAID SO! In actual fact, this guy is terribly insecure, and is acting like this to cover up dozens of self-perceived deficiencies. He may often be lacking on the social skills front (remember, masculinity also involves skill), and he just doesn't know how to communicate effectively without acting this way. He stands there acting as intimidating as possible to the beta and to the true alpha, but the true alpha isn't having it.

The True Alpha is someone who knows how to take control of situations gracefully so that everyone else wins. He gathers information, devises plans, then inspires others to follow through. So when he shows up to the scene, the first thing he does is ask questions skillfully, then listens carefully, while standing up straight, using direct eye contact, and with a firm voice. He asks the Beta why he wants the banana, then listens to his plight. Then he asks the Pseudo alpha why he wants the banana. He ignores the chest thumping, arm swinging, loud and vicious demeanor, as though it's not even happening, and asks again very directly (as he takes control of the situation.) The Pseudo alpha can't help but calm down and explain himself in a more proper tone. The true alpha then asks both of them where the banana came from. They tell him, and also tell him the difficulties involved with getting more bananas. So the True Alpha comes up with a plan. And the way he speaks, acts, and conveys the plan, inspires the other two to follow along with his vision of more bananas for everyone. He talks to the Beta in a way that's encouraging. He talks to the Pseudo in a way that's reassuring. Before long, these both are actually wanting him to be in charge!

Key note so far - the True Alpha doesn't become alpha by being stronger, louder, or more obnoxious than anyone else in the room. That's what a faker does, and this is what the political left simply refuse to understand. Alphas are not privileged. They earn the status of alpha because they know how to navigate life in a way that both benefits and inspires the people around them (tier one outcomes.)

By following the True Alpha's plans, they all walk away with 12 bananas! The Beta takes 3, the Pseudo takes 3, and they both insist the True Alpha take 6, because he allowed them both to walk away with 300% more than they ever would have received had he not showed up.

The alpha doesn't disrespect anyone. He doesn't force anyone to follow him, and knows how boundaries work. He exudes productive, heroic masculinity. He takes control of a given situation, and everyone is better off as a result.  As such, he has no problem at all attracting women.

Unfairness

Men who aren't tall and broad-shouldered, who are not rich and successful, and who have not developed their masculinity or skill at reading are going to have an extremely difficult time attracting women, or finding any success in general. These men will become what we now call "incels". The good news is that incels can, absolutely, learn to develop masculinity and learn how to express a style that works for them. Doing this properly is a "way out" of their predicament, not just in terms of dating, but also in being that kind of man that others generally like to be around. Developing masculinity as a man absolutely increases the range of games you have at your disposal, and the number of people who will want to invite you to play games. This means more access to power, status, resources, and good experiences. Being an attractive (masculine) man to a female boss, a female judge, or to any other female in power, increases how well you'll be treated and the opportunities you'll be given. It works in similar fashion, though not quite to the same extent, as it does for beautiful women interacting with men in power.

Likewise, there are women who aren't beautiful and were dealt a bad hand. Their eye-to-face ratio is wrong, their waist-to-hip ratio is wrong, and their personality just isn't feminine. They're basically playing life in hard mode. In the same way men become incels, women like this often become feminists. They think they can't compete with other women, but as it turns out, they also can't compete with men, so they just start playing a completely different game. Feminism is a game created by women who aren't able to find a better game that they have any chance at. The game is to claim victimhood through the use of pseudo-intellectual concepts, like "male privilege", "objectification", and the "wage gap". None of these survive even a brief level of scrutiny, but that's not the point. They're not based on fact. They're a game, created by a belief system, created by a psychological need to still feel valued and loved in a world where they can't compete. There are other ways around this. A woman whose body doesn't display the traditional signs of fertility (attractiveness) can improve other things about herself, eventually find her way through the world, and still have successful relationships with men. But as long as the IGGRE formula lends itself towards feminism, then feminism will probably still be the game that gets played.

Now people have found another way around the problem of being unsuccessful at the traditional game of being a man or woman.

Men, who simply do not understand the rigors of what women go through, only see that pretty women are provided for, and that they appear to be loved "just for being who they are". The game of being a woman is very, very complex, but that's not what gets seen on the surface. Men have no idea what the socialization process is for women in childhood or in their teenage years, or the social anxiety that happens in situations where women feel unsafe with a man who's showing unsolicited interest in them, or the way other women judge them for minor missteps. Instead what men see is how glorious and wonderful it is to be a woman! You put on makeup, you go shopping, and everyone loves you.

At the same time, as we touched on earlier, men are being told that every good thing a man does could be done by a woman (after all, the future is female), and every bad thing a man does belongs only to men. Many grow up in single mother homes, then go to an elementary school with only female teachers, then turn on the TV and only see either unrealistic over-the-top displays of masculinity from the likes of Superman or Wolverine, or they see the dumb-TV-dad who can't dress himself in the morning and wouldn't be able to survive without his perfect wife who's capable of doing everything. It's not surprising they never develop any masculinity, and in fact they go even further and being to believe that masculinity is inherently bad, or "toxic". So what does a man like this do?

He decides to try playing the game of being a woman. After all, their game is super easy -- all you have to do is look pretty and act feminine! (And the man will never deal with many of the natural drawbacks of being a woman.) This is a huge motivator for transgenderism. And society at large has been sucked into this game of calling every man that does this "stunning and brave". A man in a dress and wearing makeup is praised, and thus thinks he's actually playing the game of being a woman properly, and is even winning. Those of us who try to explain otherwise are called transphobic.

A woman who genuinely buys into the narrative that men are privileged, and that society caters to men, will try transitioning to become a man, and very quickly begin to realize just how completely and totally wrong that narrative is. Norah Vincent, a lesbian, wrote a book in 2006 called "Self-Made Man", where she describes her 18 month experiment of dressing and presenting as a man. She joined an all-men's bowling league, and participated in everyday life with other men, as a man. After the experiment, she said she realized that women are the ones with privilege and men are the ones who are disadvantaged, stating "I really like being a woman . . . I like it more now because I think it's more of a privilege". The mental strain of this experience weighed heavily on Vincent, and she would later commit suicide. Bonnie McFarlane is a female feminist comedian, who completely and totally bought the feminist narrative that people would laugh at her jokes if she were a man, because patriarchy is real and so is male privilege. Sometime in the late 2010s, she put this idea to the test, and decided to go on stage dressed as a man to perform her bit. Getting almost no laughs and bombing hard, she immediately went backstage and had a near existential breakdown, with her worldview being shattered. Search "Bonnie McFarlane dressed as a man" and the video should come up. This same process gradually happens to men who try to identify as a woman.

One of the reasons the transgender suicide rate is nine times higher than the national average, even after correcting for discrimination and stigma of every kind, and having people repeatedly tell them how stunning and brave they are and praising them every day, is because this world view becomes harder and harder to maintain in the face of reality, even when everyone around you is repeatedly enabling it. "Life is so much better as the opposite gender" just is not true, especially when trying to live that way requires that you deliberately fight against your own psychology. A woman who identifies as a man is still going to feel threatened walking to her car alone at night, and will still want to talk about their feelings with the men around them, in ways that women typically do and men typically don't. A man who identifies as a woman and sits in at women's groups is still going to think and act the way men think and act, which will be picked up by all the other women, who will begin treating him differently to signal that he's not wanted, which will probably go right over his head and lead to all sorts of friction.

It's one thing to reverse course if all you've done is dress as the opposite gender and try to live that way. But once you've started injecting yourself with hormones, and getting surgeries, you cause irreversible damage that only gets realized when this false world view shatters. Some games are unfair, but others are downright fatal.

Remember that if you encounter someone who has bought into the feminist narrative, the incel narrative, or someone who identifies as this or that, your aim should always be a tier 1 outcome. You do this by having straightened out your own life first, aligned yourself with the virtues, and figuring out what game the other person is playing, then acting accordingly. Also accept your limits; you cannot help everyone.

And if you've been dealt a bad hand, you can still play a bad hand in a way that wins. Incel's often cite their lack of height as a major disadvantage that society doesn't let them overcome. Richard J. Flaherty served in the 101st airborne division during the Vietnam conflict, and participated in the Tet Offensive, which earned him a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts. He later worked for the CIA and as an undercover agent for the ATF. He was only 4 foot 9 inches tall. Don't only focus on what you can't do, focus on what's possible.

Skills, Strategies, and Games

To figure out what kind of games you should engage in, it's important not only to look at what games are possible, but recognize what kinds of games you're suited for. Which walk of life works best for your character? What sort of skills do you enjoy using and improving? We touched on how Anne Boleyn simply didn't have the same skill set as Catherine, which played a big difference in the outcomes for both of them.

Let's consider the story of an extremely oppressive king / dictator / tyrant, who among other things, demands that everyone who follows a particular religion or faith to come before him and renounce their faith openly, while desecrating a symbol that is central to that faith. Feel free to insert any bad guy throughout history as the evil leader, and any religion as the one under attack -- or if you're atheist, then insert whatever you care most about (since irreligious people stray from traditional belief systems, your core values will probably focus on something related to BLM, feminism, or some other social justice belief system, so maybe the king is racist and wants you to be racist too.)

Many will go before the king and refuse to renounce their faith. The only thing this gets them is killed. They died for their faith, but they still died. One day Paul is summoned to renounce his faith, and he does. Loudly and proudly, and makes a good show out of desecrating the symbol of faith. He then takes it further, and offers to volunteer some of his time at the palace, fixing little things here and there. The king accepts, pointing to Paul as the example of how people should act. Months go by, and Paul starts talking to other people in the palace, and finding out which ones don't agree with the king. Years go by. Paul has figured out exactly who he can rely on to get rid of the king. The day comes when Paul orchestrates a rebellion and overthrows the king, ending any possibility that anyone else will ever have to renounce their faith or face death. And if God were watching this, would he really be upset with Paul? If you, dear reader, could understand, then definitely God would as well.

Now lets say you're called in front of the king, but you simply do not have the will or the skills to go through what Paul did.  Lets look at some other games.

-- Do you have good negotiating skills? Go to the king of a neighboring country and see if you can get him to force the evil king to stop. This king can only force you because he has an army (rules and enforcement.) If the neighboring king has a bigger army, and it gets sent, things will change.
-- Do you have good leadership skills? Remember, the only reason the king can force anyone to do this is that he has an army. Leave the palace and go raise a larger army than his, and then make him stop.
-- Do you have money? Money makes the world go round. The king supports his army through taxes. Offer to either subsidize or sanction his kingdom, and his policies will definitely change.
-- Are you just one hell of a bad ass? Pull your sword right then and there and tell the king this stops right now, or else. When his guards come at you, go Conan on them.
-- Are you persuasive?  Argue your case, make a heoric speech, and call upon the better angels of each man present.  See if you can change the king's mind with your heart-felt words. 
-- Can you do absolutely NONE of those things, nor anything else? Wipe your feet on the symbol and live. It's better to understand your limits than to die pointlessly.

Finally, life also involves dice -- or random chance and luck, and every day is a new roll of the dice. As long as you're alive, there's a chance that tomorrow, next week, or next month, something could change. Maybe the King has a heart attack tomorrow morning, and presto. Paul is alive because he "renounced his faith", and now he gets to go on having his faith for as long as he wants.

In all cases, Paul has to consider what game he could play and actually win. If you're a cashier working at a department store chain, and you openly disagree with the company's social justice policies, you'll just be fired. This is the same as "refusing to renounce your faith". It seems heroic, but all it does is get you killed / fired from your job. But if you take out your camera phone and record yourself disagreeing and then getting fired, the story might get picked up by outlets like The Daily Wire, and this would give you a platform where you could possibly fight back and win. Or if you have the money, contact an attorney and see if you could win that way. Don't have the money? Do you live in a conservative state? Talk to your representatives. For example, the state of Tennessee passed a law, signed by governor Bill Lee, that would outlaw adult entertainment being performed in front of children, which is something the political left is currently promoting. Live in a far left state? Stay silent, go along with the social justice policies, rise through the ranks, get promotions, become regional manager, and now openly disagree. You can make it very costly if they try firing you. Are you persuasive? Attend board meetings and plead your case to the higher-ups, and see if you can change their minds. But do not think you can "speak truth" and have it go anywhere if you don't have the ability to actually fight back. Rules only exist with enforcement. Goals only exist with incentives. If you don't have enough on either end of that formula, then stay quiet and go along with things until you do. That way you get to keep your job. You have to accept your limits, and sometimes you just don't have options. That doesn't mean you'll never have options. Every day the dice gets rolled, and the board changes in ways you can see, and in ways you can't. Be patient, and wait for an opening.

Earlier, we covered how Game Analogy allows for lying, cheating, and stealing, so long as you've aligned yourself with the virtues, you are using a 5D map, you are aiming for a tier 1 outcome, and you do not invite the spirit of those things into your life. This applies in the above examples. Now we've alluded to one other thing, besides those three sins, that is often considered unthinkable and avoided in discussion, but is a reality -- and that is killing without becoming a murderer.

Since the beginning of civilization itself, the reason one man didn't steal from another is because he could end up at the end of a sword. But having more men with more swords meant you could indeed steal from another. So for tens of thousands of years, truth was not important; victory is what mattered. After some time, humankind decided that the game of life works better if we sit down and talk, and use our faculties of reasoning instead of force, or loyalty to an absolute monarch (who again uses force.) This lesson we called "The Enlightenment". This is where the pen became mightier than the sword -- but only because we collectively agreed this was the case, and we were, at that time, very familiar with the bloodshed that came with the rule of the sword. It was through thousands of years of men cutting each other down that we began developing laws, and then later, proper law enforcement -- but this still used force! That part didn't disappear. Imposing laws through enforcement was based on recognized principles of justice and governance that facilitated the creation of a mostly peaceful society, and not one man killing the other only because he's stronger. Force should always be used in a way that is just.

There's a social contract at work: you don't steal from me, and I won't come seeking revenge. Leave me alone, and I'll leave you alone. Be nice to me, and I'll be nice to you. If you break any of these rules, there are consequences -- because without consequences, then there are no rules. And that's simply how the world works. All the way up to the 1800s, men still fought duels with pistols over one man insulting the other, because humans respond to force, and there needs to be consequences for violating the social contract. If a criminal knows they can walk into your house and take money from your purse with absolutely no consequences, then it's only rational that they'll keep doing that every day.

Few people look forward to the day they'll have to use firearms to take the lives of others for the cause of a higher good. It's a hard thing to load a weapon and carry it into a potentially lethal situation, knowing that this means ending the life of another person. And let's be clear -- not everyone is suited for this type of game. When confronted by the evil king, there are many games you could play to not only get yourself out of that situation, but come back and fix it later. If you can't bring yourself to use deadly force, or you would strongly prefer some other path, that's understandable. Just be aware that it is one possible path. In 1776, the men living in the British colonies located in North America, after attempting to voice their grievances multiple times, decided it was time to use their guns against their oppressors. The result was the founding of the United States. In 1861, the men living in the northern states of America, after a very long series of disputes and discussions on the matter, decided it was time to use guns to bring an end to the conflict that involved slavery. The result was the ending of slavery in the US. In 1941, after multiple attempts at appeasement and isolationism, men the world over agreed it was time to use their guns to end the oppression happening in Europe and Asia. Each of these examples were preceded by extensive efforts to avoid the use of force, but the need for it eventually came.

In 2022, Will Thomas was an average swimmer for the US Men's swim team, before deciding to transition his gender to female and going by the name Lia Thomas. He then started swimming for the US Women's swim team, but did not undergo any "bottom surgery" before doing so (meaning he did not have his penis and testicals removed.) This meant while changing in the women's locker room, he would undress and be completely nude, with his male anatomy showing, while women were trying to get changed into their swimsuits -- and none of the women were told beforehand that this would happen. Shocked and horrified, when the women tried to complain, the organizers for the swim team told the women that they should all seek psychological counseling to help them deal with how uncomfortable they were, rather than just fine another place for a biological male to change. When emails of complaint were sent to the relevant authorities, replies came back with statements like "If you feel uncomfortable seeing male genitalia in the locker room, here's some counseling resources that you should seek."

If that weren't enough, the women were also forced to go to mandatory LGBT classes, where they learned that just by being cis-gender, they were oppressing poor Lia Thomas.

Now you might ask why it wasn't straight up illegal for Thomas, being a biological man, to go into the women's locker room in the first place. According to Riley Gaines, a woman on the swim team who would later speak out, the event organizers told her "We actually got around this by making the locker rooms unisex". This means the organizers made it legal for any man to walk into the locker room at any time while the women were undressing, and the women weren't told this beforehand either. This is all so Lia could "feel comfortable" changing with the girls (because he absolutely could not feel comfortable finding a single room somewhere to change by himself.)

At this point, the women could have collectively refused to swim, or started their own swim event, regardless of whether it was endorsed by this or that agency, and held their own competitions. They could also have gotten their male family members involved, and explained to them what was happening. Someone would definitely need help with trauma afterwards, but it wouldn't be the women. Just like Paul and the tyrannical king, find a game that not only works, but also works for you.

Later, the women were told by the event organizers and their schools that they were not allowed to take a stance, as their school had already taken a stance for them. They were threatened that if they protested, they would not get into grad school, and would not get job placement. They were told things like "If you speak out, and harm comes to Lia, then you are solely responsible." So being pressured by their school and by the event organizers, the women went along with it (which is also a propensity of femininity.) Lia would then, unsurprisingly, being a biological man with a man's strength and physical advantages, win first place in March of 2022 at the women's 500-yard freestyle event.

Riley Gaines would later be invited by the Leadership Institute to speak about her experiences and her frustration at San Francisco state university. She described her experiences, and focused on exactly what happened, and avoided any exaggerations. She stayed through the Q&A period afterwards, answering questions raised by the audience. As people were standing up to leave, a mob of far leftists rushed into the room, turned off the lights, then rushed the stage, threatening violence against Riley. A police officer, out of uniform, grabbed Riley and quickly brought her to a room where the door was locked and barricaded. She was forced to stay in this room for three hours, while listening to chants like "when trans rights are under attack, we fight back!"

Yes. This woman, describing her experiences of having to change in a room with a naked man standing across from her, is somehow attacking the rights for Lia Thomas to call himself a girl, swim on the women's team, and win first place. Right.

The mob demanded Riley be handed over to them so they could, as they said, "handle her ourselves". The police did nothing, as they were terrified of opposing the LGBT group, and not being seen as an "ally". Eventually, after Riley was trapped in this room for hours, the Dean of the school came to negotiate with the mob so Riley could finally go home. Several people in the mob suggested that if Riley was to ever go home, that she would have to "pay them". One suggested she needed to pay each of them 10 dollars before she could go home. Riley did eventually get the chance to leave and go home. And after this event, the vice president of student affairs, Dr. Jamilla Moore, said in an email "we applaud our brave students. They were in a situation where they were met with adversity, listening to someone who spreads violence, and we applaud their bravery and peaceful protest."

Imagine you're a woman, and you're at work. You go to the restroom, and a naked man walks in after you. Utterly shocked, you rush to the HR office, only to be told that they made the bathroom unisex, so that man could feel comfortable. When you explain what happened -- that's it, that's all you do, you just explain what happened -- an LGBT mob rushes after you, threatening violence, and you're forced to barricade yourself in a room, wondering what will happen if they decide to force their way through. When the whole thing is over, your HR department sends out company wide emails applauding the mob for being brave and peaceful. Because that's basically what happened here.

Now imagine Bill and Ted from earlier zap down in their phone booth once again, tell you that was most bogus, and then say they can send you back in time to the moment where you were explaining what happened, and then were rushed by the mob.

Only this time, you will be given a Beretta M9, with several magazines of ammo.

You could decide to simply not speak out, and no one would blame you. It's a terrible situation, and there are people all over the country who are afraid to speak up, and would decide to not say anything. Just remember that we entered the enlightenment, and arrived at a place where we all had the freedom of speech, because we knew what bloodshed living by the sword could bring. And unfortunately, every century or so, we've had to be reminded the lessons of the sword (or in this case, the lessons of the Beretta M9) so we could once again appreciate the rules of the enlightenment, where we both get to talk, then agree to disagree and leave it at that. Also keep in mind that you might not have to shed blood. If Riley Gaines, or someone next to her, had fired a single shot into the air, that entire mob may have instantly come to their senses and scattered.

And before you think you couldn't do this because the police will come and arrest you -- they absolutely won't if you have 20 people to your left with guns, and 20 people to your right with guns. The same police who wouldn't lift a finger to stop the mob that was about to kill you, now won't lift a finger to stop you. As long as you're able to enforce rules, you have rules. But again, this is only one of many games you could play, if you're the sort of person who is suited for this.

Now lets cover a much needed word of caution. This will involve a discussion on epistemology, or put simply, how do you know what you know.

Never right, Just Less Wrong

You might wonder why, in the requirements before taking action, we've listed out the necessities as knowing what games are involved, having the virtues, a 5D map, and aiming for a tier 1 outcome, but nowhere have we included scientific truth, facts, or evidence. Don't those matter when it comes to making a decision? Based on what we've covered so far, it should be obvious that even if these were included, they would be drastically overshadowed by the psychological needs that create belief systems, and the games that come from those beliefs. But there's another reason we don't put a lot of stock in facts and evidence.

During his life, Isaac Newton invented the reflecting telescope, proposed a new theory of light and color, discovered calculus, developed the three laws of motion, and devised a law of universal gravitation (discovered gravity.) He is considered one of the most prominent figures in the realm of science. When asked on his deathbed what his greatest accomplishment was, he stated "life long celibacy".

Imagine that. According to one of the smartest men who ever lived, the best thing he ever did was die a virgin. To the incels reading this, meditate on that for a while.

And what would you call a man who thought that vacuums (like the vacuum of space) are physically impossible, that men carry all genetic material and women are just incubators, that in the womb all babies are trying to become men, and the ones who become women just didn't make it? You would call him "Aristotle" -- who was one of the greatest philosophers of all time.

There's this thing called "pessimistic induction", which is an area of philosophy that states we are never right about anything, we're only less wrong as time goes on. Consider that people once thought that the earth was flat, and that all planets orbit the earth. While this was totally wrong, it was still possible to make maps of your part of the world, and those maps worked. Later on it was discovered that the earth is round -- however, that's still wrong. The world is not perfectly round, and the planets do not orbit in perfect circles around the sun. Later, Einstein's theory of relativity added so much to what we know, that it's safe to call all previous knowledge about the earth and our movement through space and time as wrong. And as more information is discovered, our idea of the earth and where we are in space becomes less wrong, but is never entirely right -- and in fact, in some regards we may still be extremely wrong.

Before the understanding of vitamin C, people thought scurvy was caused by an imbalance of acidity to alkalinity. What the science of the time suggested was that the body had a "balance of different fluids", so it's natural to assume that perhaps the body has acids and bases. Seas and oceans are alkaline... perhaps too much alkalinity in the body is what causes scurvy! And can we test this? Sure we can - and guess what! Every single person who spends an extended time in a body of water (eating the usual salted meat-and-biscuits diet of course) gets scurvy! You get it even if you're out on a raft in a smaller body of water, and kept out there for a long while (supposing you're still living on salted meat-and-biscuits.) Whereas if you're walking around on land, and away from the supposed alkalinity of the sea air (and eating fruits and vegetables), you don't get scurvy. So obviously, it has to be from the sea air. And when citrus fruits are finally addressed, it's noted that most of them are acids, so they're balancing out the alkalinity. The more you test this theory, the more it seems accurate... all of the information reconfirms the conclusion again and again - taking you further away from the truth, rather than closer to it!

So maybe Aristotle was simply limited by the facts that were known at his time, maybe Isaac Newton is just an example of someone who had a strange view of himself, and maybe science is only a process of finding out and never a way of knowing for sure. What about yourself? Do you know what will make you happy? Let's say I gave you a choice between winning the lottery, or losing your ability to walk, and asked which would make you happier in 5 years time. Now this may seem like an idiotic question, but believe it or not, a study titled "Lottery winners and accident victims: is happiness relative?" conducted by P Brickman, D Coates, R Janoff-Bulman shows us that after a while, lottery winners and paralyzed accident victims both return to comparable levels of happiness. That is to say, one group was not happier than the other group after a few years. This was known long before that study was conducted; in 480 BCE, the Buddha had said "Life is suffering", and "getting what you want will not remove this suffering". Even back then it was observed that people often chase this or that, and never really attain the lasting satisfaction that they're looking for.

So people don't have access to absolute truth, cannot know for certain what actually is or isn't (and being surrounded by fake news doesn't make this easier), and also don't know themselves well enough to know what will make them happy or miserable over the next few years. People don't always know why they do what they do (if we did, we wouldn't need psychologists and counselors to help us understand ourselves.) On top of that, recall the fake martial arts talked about earlier, the feminists who tried dressing up as men because they were so completely certain they'd experience male privilege and how terrible that went, and all the other ridiculous belief systems that come from drives and create games. This throws a bag of wrenches into the ethical calculus of when to use lethal force. How do you know when it's time to potentially take the lives of others? You can take back things you've said, and make up for times you've cheated, but you can't un-kill someone.

The two safeguards against radicalism and drastic measures that can end lives have been covered, but they'll be covered again, as they cannot be emphasized enough. First, on a personal level, you must first put your own life in order, see what game others are playing, know what skills you have available to you, master the virtues, use a 5D map, and always aim for a tier 1 outcome. Second, on a social level, look back to the examples of the American Revolutionary war, the American Civil War, and World War II. Each of these examples were preceded by a very, very long period of discussion and debate. The appeasement policies and isolationism that led to the rise of Nazism across Europe are often criticized in discussions today, but the principles behind that approach are actually correct. Before the Civil War, there was some 20 years of heated discussion on the topic of state's rights, and the American colonists had tried airing their grievances multiple times before declaring independence. Today, instead of appeasement, we use sanctions, but countries still go through the years-long effort of trying to resolve things through forums like the United Nations and other diplomatic channels. The idea is to have open discussions, debates, conversations, challenges, and arguments, to see if there's any way at all to resolve a conflict, hopefully with the highest tier win possible.

Now imagine that former sex offenders insist on being able to dress up as drag queens and walk around in public. You raise your concerns, but they're swatted aside with "how does this affect you?" and "why are you so bigoted?" Next, the drag queens want to host "story hour" at your child's elementary school. You raise concerns, this time more strident, but they're again dismissed. Pretty soon the "story hour" is removed, and the drag queens are twerking in front of your children. Here's where the debate gets heated, and also where the opportunity for games seems to be getting missed. Why doesn't the political right send women into these schools that claim they're actually men dressed in drag, then proceed to twerk for a few minutes before revealing that they're actually biological women? This would confuse the blazes out of the political left, because it's acceptable for drag queens to do this but not for biological women. Regardless, you try removing your child from school to avoid this nonsense, but now laws are passed that prevent you from being able to do so, and you also risk getting "canceled" for doing that, which means the leftist will come after you on social media and try to disrupt your personal life, which includes getting you fired from your job. At this point, some legal challenges are made, and people begin petitioning their political leadership to pass laws, but large corporations are "going woke" and supporting the leftists, giving them power, status, and resources (in other words, they're winning.) How much longer do you tolerate this? Perhaps your next step is to leave your state and move to a more conservative state. But what happens when the woke mob comes to your conservative state, with chants of "we're coming for your children", and the same set of circumstances happen again? Any attempt to speak out creates another Riley Gaines situation. Any objection risks getting you canceled.

At some point, you've tried enough. You've examined yourself, you've straightened out your own life, and you know you are not the problem. You've had a hundred conversations, and your side is willing to listen, while the other side threatens anyone who says what they don't like, so you know your side is not the problem. And while you cannot know things with absolute certainty, you can know that there is a limit to how much you should tolerate. You can know that games don't exist without rules, and rules don't exist without enforcement, and the lessons of the sword have to be relearned every so often so people can remember why the game of freedom and liberty was agreed on in the first place.

The Three Axes of Reality

This section is important for understanding the general approach and relationship that K'vidism and Game Analogy have with human experience, the world, and reality. The concepts will be explained at length, as they may be difficult to grasp, but again, they are very important.

Chaos vs Order

Jordan Peterson has done an extremely good job at elucidating this particular axis.

First, there is the formless entity from which all things arise. Conceptualized another way, it's the source of potential, or the place where things come from, both good and bad, but where nothing has come into existence just yet. It's inherently unknown, or unexplored territory. This is called "chaos". Second, there is data interpretation, cognitive understanding, and inference that allows you to make sense of the chaos, and shape it into something specific, and this is "order". Chaos and order play themselves out constantly all around us each day. Your house is in order, because you live there, it's known, and it's safe. When you venture out of your house to go somewhere new, you're going into unexplored territory, where any number of things could possibly happen, which is chaos. Let's say you get sick and have a number of strange symptoms, and you don't know what's wrong with you -- that's chaos. You go to the doctor, and he says "you have such-and-such, and I'm prescribing this-and-that". By naming it, sense and reason now constrain the infinite number of horrible things it could have been down into one thing, which is order. He's also prescribing something, which indicates that whatever it is you have can be fixed, or at least brought under control, which is also order.

Humans have their choices in how they interact with the ongoing dynamic of chaos and order. You can choose to hide in your safe space, and seek safety absolutely everywhere at all times. Or you could rush headlong straight into the unknown with reckless abandon like a fool, and get yourself either killed or horribly injured. These are two extremes, and neither of them work. The "hero" is the person who has one foot in the known, one foot in the unknown, and in this balanced position, gradually creates order from the chaos. This takes a great amount of life skill, and also some of the virtues covered earlier, like discipline and discernment. People admire the person capable of confronting chaos, right on the edge of order, who brings forth habitable structure and shares what he found or created with members of his community. This might be another way of understanding the "alpha male", who "lives heroically".

What does it mean to live heroically? As it's told in most ancient stories, it means being willing to embrace hardship, not with reckless abandon, but with preparedness. Decide that there is no failing, only learning, and don't let the process of learning hard lessons in the process of confronting chaos make you bitter. It means deliberately leaving safeness, and to venture out into the world and into the unknown. It means to accept and embrace suffering as it arises, while refusing to let it change you for the worse. In the process you find wisdom and benefits that ultimately make you stronger, and you share the things you've gained with the people you care about.

A job interview is another example of chaos and order. You're all dressed up and prepared (order), and going into a room (order) to sit across from someone who will play the role of interviewer (order.) However, you're deeply nervous and scared. Why? Because you don't know what will happen (chaos.) You may be asked questions you don't know the answer to (chaos.) Will you get the job or be rejected? (Chaos.) Living heroically means going in, despite being nervous, and using your skills and abilities to ace the interview and get a positive outcome. You can see the closeness this has to using a 5D map, and aiming for a tier 1 outcome. And if you remember the six steps covered earlier in "Aligning Your Life With a Higher Power", you can now start to see what a "Hero who follows God" looks like. And if you combine that with the rest of Game Analogy, then you'll essentially have what K'vidism puts forward as the right way to live.

Phenomenological vs Empirical

Both of these concepts fall under the philosophical umbrella of "epistemology", or again, how you know what you know.

Empiricism refers to reality that you can see, taste, smell, touch, or hear. It's "real" in the tangible, or testable sense. You know the computer screen you're reading this from is real because your senses are reporting to you that it's real, and you can have another person independently verify that it's real. Testing empirical reality, writing down the results, and using that information to do more test, is "science". This means science falls under a philosophy of a philosophy, which is a neat thing to know if anyone ever tries to debate that science is somehow "better" than philosophy.

Phenomenological refers to reality that you experience. Love, happiness, hope, dreams, plans for the future, and the meaning you assign to sentimental things all fall under phenomenology. Empirically, a picture hanging on the wall is nothing but chemicals and paints plastered onto wood. Phenomenologically, that's could be a picture of you painted of your significant other, which holds an extremely high level of meaning and value to you, personally. There is no scientific way to "test" the meaning you assigned to the picture, so it's not empirical, however, the meaning this picture has to you is no less real.

Earlier, we talked about Elvis's Guitar -- the one that fell over and broke, and was replaced by another guitar from a dollar store. Empirically, that guitar was not the one Elvis used. Phenomenologically, it was indeed the guitar Elvis used, because that was the reality that was experienced by everyone. You can see how this might start arguments.

The ring you have on your finger, empirically, is a circular piece of metal. It can be tested, analyzed, and confirmed by independent sources to be circular in nature, and also made out of some form of metal. It can also be tested for weight and composition. However, this ring could also have been a parting gift from your grandmother before she passed away, and it might have been in the family for generations. The idea of it being special as a last parting gift before she died is an experience that, while "real", is not something that can be tested or calculated: therefore it's phenomenological.

Your personal relationship with God, if you have one, is definitely phenomenological. It's not "real" the same way as a table or chair, but it's still definitely real, and in fact there are many in the field of philosophy who would argue that it's even more real than a tangible object like a table or chair. Your designation as either democrat or republican, leftist or rightist, is not something that can be touched, tasted, smelled, seen, or heard. Instead these designations come from a collection of values that you can discuss and share with others, and you can certainly experience them as real. They might be so real, and so important, that they're the reason you get out of bed in the morning.

Here's an example that many will find difficult to grasp. Is money empirical, or phenomenological? This one's tricky, because paper money that you can hold in your hand definitely seems real, and you can hand it over for the purchase of goods and services that are also real. However, the concept of "worth" is phenomenological. Something is only "worth 5 dollars" because you and I collectively agree that the thing is worth that much, because our concept of "worth" matches when discussing this thing. Also, market forces can actually be tested and experimented with, yet at the same time, these forces arise from each individual's concept of worth. This is part of what makes economics such a confounding field. It seems we live in a universe where reality can definitely exist independently from human experience, the way a table or chair does when you leave a room, but reality is also created by people's minds, and that reality is no less real than empirical reality.

Now there's a potential problem that comes from experience, feelings, and perception being called "reality", but it's only a problem if empiricism is ignored -- and / or -- if the experienced reality of everyone else is forcibly ignored. Lets say I identify as a patriot. Not a problem. Lets say I identify as a Christian. Still not a problem. Lets say I identify as a fitness athlete. Well, not a problem, so long as I actually practice fitness athletics. I can identify as a power lifter, but if my deadlift is less than 100kg, then I may be called "not a very good power lifter". However, if I identified as a monkey's uncle... well, no. It doesn't matter if I identify as that, because there's an empirical reality that does exist, which has to be ignored, in order for that identity to work. There was no empirical reality in the case of being a patriot or as a Christian. There was at least some empiricism required for the fitness athlete identity, as there's no clear, agreed upon point, at which the claim can be called objectively valid (how many sit ups or pushups are required?) It's the same with power lifting. How heavy do you have to lift before you get to identify that way? However, biologically, I am definitely not a monkey, nor a monkey's uncle. There are clear biological differences between myself and a monkey.

And if I'm a woman, and I identify as a man, then there is a definite empirical reality that has to be ignored, and that's where the problems start. Because now a grown man can identify as a little girl, or as a cyborg, or as an adult baby -- and yes, each of those examples can be found with an online search. The cyborg one in particular appeared on Dr. Phil. Why not identify as a millionaire, and demand money? Because there's an empirical reality standing in the way of that, which other people are not willing to completely ignore, just so you can feel comfortable in your identity.

The response that often comes back is "in what way does it affect someone else if you identify as a monkey's uncle?" First, this is of course a stand-in for the transgender debate. If people who identified as monkey's uncles were nine times more likely to commit suicide than the average population, even after correcting for stigma and discrimination, then one might conclude that this is a serious mental health issue. Next, there's the problem that everyone else's experienced reality has to be forcibly ignored. I identify as a monkey's uncle, which means you now must call me by certain pronouns, and if you don't, that's hate speech, and you risk losing your job. Your kids are forced to learn and acknowledge my identity in school, and you can't pull them out of school to avoid that. I can walk into the women's locker room naked because after all, I'm just a monkey. I want surgery, and tax money has to pay for it. All of these are examples of how it absolutely does effect everyone else by completely ignoring their view of reality, and forcing them to participate in my view. This was indeed a problem decades ago when the Christians had the ability to insist that everyone conform to their world view, and were able to pass laws that required others to conform. The atheist debates that raged across the 2010s did a lot to change this. Today, Christians believe what they believe, and are much less likely to force their views on others, who may have a different view. For the most part, this stopped being a problem. If I walked around identifying as a monkey's uncle, and left everyone else alone, and did not insist on special privileges, or demand you use this or that speech, then no one would care. People might laugh -- which they are free to do, but then shrug, and move right along.

It's important to understand that we all live in a shared reality, which is empirical, but we also all carry our own histories, perceptions, and values, which create a phenomenological reality, and at the end of the day, that's the reality that matters most. It's also the one most connected to a person's belief system, and plays a role in what kinds of games they play. I can offer to share my phenomenological reality with you (say, my personal relationship with Jesus Christ), but if you say no, then that should be okay. You shouldn't have to participate in my experienced reality if you don't want to. Likewise, if I'm a woman and I say I'm a man, you don't need to participate in that either. You can still call me "she" and "her", since that's your experienced reality, and I have no default moral standing to demand and insist you stop having that reality and replace it with mine.

There's a final axis upon which reality can be understood.

Idealism vs Realism

This is one that almost never gets addressed in modern discussions, yet it's one that's perhaps most pivotal at the time of this writing. Machievelli said, paraphrased, "he who only looks at what should be, and neglects looking at what actually is, will find his way to ruin rather than preservation." An easier way of saying this is "spit in one hand, wish in the other, and see which fills up faster."

It's good to have ideals. We all have an idea of what the world would look like if everyone acted the way they should. Paradise is possible, and there are many ideologies that promise a utopia if only everyone got on board. In the story of Adam and Eve, they were kick / banned from the garden (or paradise), not because they failed to follow an ideology, but because there was something inherently wrong with them after "their eyes were opened". Each person is sinful by nature, and only righteous by choice. The problem is that it's seemingly impossible to get each and every person to make that choice. And the choice to be righteous has more to do with things like developing foresightedness, discipline, discernment, and detachment, and not believing and serving an ideology.

While you can have ideals in mind, and even work towards them, it's much more important to understand the reality, and work in accordance with how things actually are.

The ideal is:

The United States is a constitutional Republic, where everyone is created equal, and are endowed with certain inalienable rights.

The real is:

The United States is full of corrupt politicians, people have all but lost faith in the government, and rights get violated all the time.

The ideal is:

If you work hard, you'll get ahead. Stay out of trouble, obey the law, stay in school, and your future will be bright.

The real is:

You work hard, then get fired because global economic forces caused your company to go bankrupt. Obeying the law does nothing to change your value as a person, and you're stuck with thousands in college debt.

The ideal is:

You meet someone, fall in love, and live happily ever after because love is all you need.

The real is:

Relationships take effort, communication, compromise, and sometimes even when you've done everything right, they still don't work out.

The ideal is:

You help your friends and family, because friendship means never having to ask, and your family will always be there for you.

The real is:

You always help your friends, and the one time you need help, they can't be bothered. Your family hasn't talked to you in months, and when they do, it's because they need money.

The proper relationship between the real and ideal is something we struggle with as a species. There are a number of teachings in the world currently that tell you to "clean your room", "take responsibility", and "speak truth". None of these are wrong, but they are all grounded in the ideal, not the real. Cleaning your room (straightening out your life) is the ideal, but the reality is that it will very often get you anger and hostility from those around you, because your good accomplishments remind them of their shortcomings, and if you don't plan for this in advance then you'll suffer the brunt of it. Taking responsibility is the ideal, but the reality is that often others will take advantage of you, or sit back while you do all the work and then take credit. There might also be no incentive for taking responsibility -- you stick your neck out and sacrifice time and effort to make things work properly, then get absolutely nothing in return for it. Speaking truth is the ideal, but in reality it's just a terrible idea if you are not in a position where you have rules protecting you, and ways to enforce those rules. Said again, the ideals are not wrong, and it's even good to have them, but you must balance the ideal with the real if you want games to work with a possibility of winning.

Clean your room, but do so primarily for your own benefit, and only reveal that it's clean very tactfully and carefully. You may even need to leave part of it messy on purpose to help navigate around the toxic people. Take responsibility, but only do so if very clear rules and enforcement have been established. It may help to create a work log at your job of all the things you got done, and turn it in at the end of each week. However, if your supervisor reacts negatively, pass it off as just not understanding what was required of you, then readjust your game knowing that your supervisor reacts negatively to an employee taking responsibility. You could "find another job", but be aware that the other job may also have people like this. Speak truth, but only when appropriate. If you have the money and resources, it doesn't hurt to discuss with an attorney beforehand a strategy for what happens when you "speak truth" and get fired. Then speak truth, sue, win money, and move on to the next job. You're taking money and resources away from people who are suppressing free speech, and giving it to people who support free speech, which falls more in line with "slaying the dragon of chaos" than merely speaking truth without a game plan. And if you don't have the money and resources to enact that strategy, then find another one more suited for you. The point is, have ideals, but work with the reals.

G.A.'s General Rules

All games have rules, and specific games will have specific rules. Since life itself is a game, there are rules that exist in general, that apply to all games everywhere. The following are a list of these rules. If you are using Game Analogy, then these rules should be acknowledged in every situation, and every interaction you have with everyone.

Rule1

-- Do not ever expect fairness. If things play out fair, that's great, but it's never a given. Never assume your opponent will follow the rules of the game you're engaged in, even when there's consequences, as they might break them and face the consequences in order to advance or win. Think back to the Trolley Problem, where the person you saved instantly betrayed you, and consider how that should be handled before it happens.

Rule 2

-- Do not ever expect friends or allies to follow through on obligations. Any strategy put forward that relies on this always happening is not a strategy, it's wishful thinking. Place your trust in the meta, not in humans. People are sinful by nature, and only righteous by choice, and even when given incentives to make that choice, often fail to follow through. People continue to smoke cigarettes even when they know the consequences, they purchase gym memberships then don't go, and fail to finish the medication given by their doctor even if it guarantees a return to health.

Rule 3

-- Becoming a K'vidist is necessary before you can play any game effectively. This means bringing the seven virtues into your life as completely as possible, developing a 5 dimensional map, and always aim for the highest tier outcome, understanding what games others around you are playing, and then understanding what skills and abilities you have that you can bring to the game. Having an understanding of the Meta-Minutia, Masculinity and Femininity, and the Three Axes will also be very helpful.

Rule 4

-- The golden formula is IGGRE:

Games need rules, rules need enforcement. Without enforcement, there's no rule. Without rules, your game isn't the one being played.

Games need goals, goals need incentives. Without incentives, you have no goals. Without goals, your game isn't the one being played.

If you have incentives and goals, along with rules and enforcement, you have a stable game. "Stable" does not mean "guaranteed": see rules 1 and 2.

Rule 5

-- Enforcement comes from one of three places: internal, societal, or adversarial. Incentives are tied to calculated tier outcomes, level of map, and what virtues a person is using. A person who cares only about instant gratification for themselves (3D map) at the expense of everyone else (tier 5 outcome) will see incentives differently than a person who plans for the best and worst futures (5D map) and works so that everyone is better off (tier 1 outcome.)

Rule 6

-- With few exceptions, everyone is playing a game. Games are created by belief systems. A belief system can have you, or you can have them. Belief systems are created by drives and psychological needs, which we all have, and none of this changes based on a person's level of intelligence.

Rule 7

-- Have a contingency for what happens if someone crosses a line, or if a relationship comes to a sudden end, including what happens if all relationships end at the same time. If you are not strong enough to survive on your own, then don't count yourself strong enough to win while accompanied.

Rule 8

-- Begin or end relationships based on pragmatic assessment from a K'vidist perspective, and not on emotions or ego. It's easier to get a higher tier outcome if you can part ways amicably rather than to keep a relationship going for it's own sake, or re-establish a relationship if the other side's behavior has changed. Stay focused on the actual goal, rather than on how you feel about the person, and let your goals and their incentives be ultimately connected to the meta.

Rule 9

-- Use the other player's ego, culture, values, drives, perspectives, psychological needs, and belief system to your (and possibly to their) advantage. Use antagonism or praise at the right times to encourage the kinds of decisions you want, both from friends and enemies. Promising loyalty or allegiance can be an empty gesture, but it might mean something to the other player, and might also be necessary depending on what game is being played. Be aware your friends and enemies will also attempt this on you, and not always to anyone's benefit.

Rule 10

-- Should friends or enemies attempt a maneuver on you, be careful before calling it out. People will love the snake oil and hate the one who reveals what it is. You may often need to go along with the maneuver, just be aware of it, and if possible, steer interactions in the direction of your goals.

Rule 11

-- Maximize the benefits of every relationship, in the direction of the highest tier outcome, while they still exist. Avoid relationships that are not productive towards your goals: or said another way, "cut toxic people out of your life." End relationships once they become long-term incompatible, or will harm more than help, and cannot be rectified. Do not hold grudges; remember rule 8.

Rule 12

-- Say what needs to be said, do what needs to be done, and make no consideration as to whether what you say is true, or follows accepted norms of right and wrong. Do, without becoming. It can be helpful to know truth, but words and actions are dictated by the situation. Be morally flexible. Make sure you're suited for the game you're playing; there are many ways to handle the tyrannical king. If your opponent forces you to kneel, you may have to, for now, in order to win long term. Never let ego be the basis for tactics or strategy.

Rule 13

-- If you don't know the game being played, use what skills and abilities you have to find out what it is. If no game is being played, see rule 6. Take note of who is playing which game, and then play to win.

Rule 14

-- Always focus first on the reality, and second on the ideal. People should not discriminate against job applicants based on immutable factors (ideal), but they do it all the time (real.) Men should see that there's more to you than just your weight (ideal), but they are definitely going to judge you based on your weight (real.) Women should not judge a man completely by his age and height (ideal), but they always have and always will judge men for those things (real.) Strategies based on idealism and not realism are not strategies, they're wishful thinking. Spit in one hand, wish in the other, and see which one fills up faster.

Rule 15

-- Once you have learned Game Analogy, teach it to others.  Another person knowing the system is not a threat to you, it's a benefit.  They will improve their lives, then use the virtues and a 5D map to help improve your life.  A candel's light is not diminished by lighting other candels.